Trial by fire in memory of Jack

A BROTHER and sister walked barefoot over hot coals to raise money for the children’s hospice which cared for their disabled foster brother.  

Liam and Charley Davis took on the 650C Firewalk at Children’s Hospice South West in Wraxall in February  in memory of their foster brother Jack who died at the age of eight. 

Jack, who was profoundly deaf, and had cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome, was welcomed into the Davis family home in Emersons Green at the age of two, in 2007.

He joined foster parents Sandie and Jim’s other children Charley, Liam and Louise, Katy, Jamie and Darren. 

Charley said: “Mum and dad had fostered since I was little.  

“Jack arrived in 2007. He was severely disabled and was tiny and couldn’t do anything for himself. 

“But he immediately became part of the family. He was a happy character and had a smile which lit up the room. 

“We never considered him anything but our little brother.” 

After a catastrophic seizure aged four, Jack was put into an induced coma and doctors believed he would never recover. His life support machine was switched off, but Jack then began breathing on his own.

He was discharged from hospital and not expected to live more than 48 hours but Charley said he “ wasn’t ready to die” and he lived for another four years, with Sandie and Jim caring for him round the clock and the hospice providing respite care for him and his family at its Charlton Farm site. 

Charley said: “For my parents to be able to go to the hospice and have all the medical side taken care of and be able to relax and have a lie in, knowing that Jack was being wonderfully cared for, was just what they needed. 

“It took so much of the pressure away and just allowed mum and dad time to breathe.”

In 2013 Jack was admitted to Bristol Children’s Hospital with a chest infection and was transferred to the hospice, where he died surrounded by his family.

Charley said: “The hospice continued to support us through that incredibly sad time and beyond.”  

The family has remained close to CHSW with everyone taking on various fundraising challenges over the years, with the Firewalk being the latest.

Charley said: “It was an exhilarating experience to walk over hot coals. It was certainly a case of mind over matter.”

Hospice fundraiser Sarah Heppenstall said the event raised more than £3,000.