Family affair at ‘brilliant’ hospice

Great: Leona Bisping, 12, and her mum Anglea Boreham, who rely on Derian House
Great: Leona Bisping, 12, and her mum Anglea Boreham, who rely on Derian House
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Twelve-year-old Leona Bisping loves her visits to Derian House, and has even got her two little brothers in on the fun.

Leona, from the Pike Hill area of Burnley, has suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy since birth, and from the age of two has had a tracheotomy to help her breathe.

She requires 24-hour help, with mum Angela Boreham, 36, her full time carer, but the family are given respite at Derian House, in Astley Village, 14 nights a year.

Angela said: “We’ve been going to Derian since Leona was about 12 months old and her health visitor referred us.

“She is in a wheelchair because she can’t do any weight baring, and she suffers from bad chest infections.

“Derian is a great place. You first picture a hospice as a sad, very clinical place, but it’s far, far from that.

“It’s not depressing or all about dying, it is in fact very friendly and like a home-from-home.

“Derian give us 14 nights allocation a year, and I usually split that into blocks of three or four nights.

“We have stayed as a family before, with her two brothers aged five and seven, but usually Leona will go on her own, and I have complete peace of mind that she is receiving the best possible care.

“Having a few days break means that we can do things as a family that aren’t always possible with Leona, like swimming, which she can’t do because of her tracheotomy.

“Leona loves going too, with all the things they have there, like the sensory room.

“Her brothers love it there too because of all the activities they get to do. They’d live there if they could.”

Leona’s brother Kian, seven, attends a sibling support group once a month, which Evan, five, will go to once he’s old enough.

Angela added: “Derian don’t just help Leona, it’s about the whole family.

“Kian loves going to the support group and comes home shattered! Every time he goes, Evan always begs to go as well, he can’t wait.”

Angela added: “It’s not right that places like Derian don’t get more state help and rely on fundraising to survive.

“A lot of people depend on their services and it they weren’t there, they would be devastated.”