In memory of Freddie Appleyard.
A website to help disabled children and their families.

Freddie's story

The Eulogy read at Freddie's funeral

Freddie Robert Gene Appleyard came into the world 5 weeks early on the 31st August 2006 weighing 7lbs 1oz.

It was immediately recognised that Freddie was born with several problems and was transferred ot the Special Care Baby Unit in order for the Doctors to establish a diagnosis. He spent two weeks there and during this time his Mum Rachel, Dad Nooley and big brother Joseph fell in love with their new arrival.

Freddie came home under the care of Consultants, and for a while things were almost “normal”. This was to change in February 2007 when Freddie was rushed into Hull Royal Infirmary after suffering a seizure at home.

Following several days of tests and scans, it was revealed that the right side of Freddie's brain was swollen and damaged. It was this damage that had caused the epileptic seizure, and in the weeks that followed, other problems began to arise. Freddie was found to be Hemiplegic, meaning that the left hand side of his body was very weak, he was visually impaired and his learning and development skills were severely delayed.

The family still enjoyed an active life together, they spent many hours watching Joe play cricket and rugby, in fact Freddie became Joe's biggest fan and was fondly thought of as a good luck mascot by Joe's team mates. Freddies also gained first hand knowledge of every car boot sale and market within a twenty mile radius spending much time with his besotted Grandma Margaret and Granddad Alf. Whenever they went, Freddie went. He lived as full a life as possible, going to Hull Fair, visiting Father Christmas and accepting many invitations to parties. He even dressed up at the fancy dress Halloween party.

Thoughtout this time, Freddie (or Bobbles as he was known), spent several weeks in hospital, in Pediatric A&E, on ward 120 or in the High Dependency Unit, where he always bounced back after the fantastic love and care shown by the the hospital team and also the staff at Freddie's doctors surgery, the Marfleet group practice.

Freddie rapidly became a local “celebrity” appearing numerous times in the Hull Daily Mail and even appearing on Look North because of the charity events organised for him. One year ago today, a hair and fashion show was held at Hull Kingston Rovers ground to help raise funds for Freddie. It was organised by the family's friends at the Experience Hair Salon and was supported so well that we had to send out for extra raffle tickets half way through the evening. This started the ball rolling for other fund raising events, including a sponsored “tashathon”, bike rides, runs, church coffee afternoons, a boxathon organised by St Paul's Boxing Club, a cake and book stall held at Ideal Standard and sponsored activities at the local nursery. Every single penny raised was used to improve the quality of Freddie's life buying his sensory room and specialist equipment which he benefitted from so much! There seemed no end to the amount of people who would go out of their way to help Freddie and our family can never thank you enough.

Things seemed to be going so well, Freddie was almost sitting unaided and was responding in his own special way. He loved bath times and his food - even eating a full haddock from the fish shop on his first birthday! He laughed at the TV when “Fifi and the Flowertots” would begin, and he liked nothing more than going for long walks in his wheelchair, often tiring out his Uncle Peter who would walk Freddie for miles.

In April 2008, Freddie suffered a massive seizure and following this developed Pneunomia and another serious infection. He spent weeks in hospital and this time didn't bounce back as usual. He stopped feeding and had to have surgery to enable him to be tube fed through a value in his stomach. He was so much weaker, and another brain scan found that the left side of the brain was now damaged. Things that gave Freddie so much enjoyment in the past no longer made him happy. All he wanted to do was to be cuddled by his loving family, especially his two shadows, his Mummy and Grandma.

During every difficult hospital admission, Rachel and Nooley kept a constant vigil at Freddie's bedside, never leaving him for a moment and never giving up hope. Joseph always playing an important role in keeping his Mum and Dad's spirits up. Many of the staff who cared for Freddie have developed close bonds with the family.

This Christmas was lovely - Freddie was weaker still but enjoyed Christmas Day surrounded by everybody who loved him. After an overnight stay in hospital on the Boxing Day, Freddie came home to his usual place on his settee, resting on his favourite pillow, snuggled in his fleecy blanket.

On Tuesday 30th December 2008, Freddie decided that he was too tired to fight anymore. He had a peaceful day with his Mummy, Daddy and Joesph, and fell into a beautiful sleep, thinking “this is too good a dream to wake up” and he passed away peacefully.

Freddie will be missed terribly by his loving and devoted family and friends, and we are all heartbroken by our loss, but we would not wake him to suffer again.

God Bless Freddie, we love you and will never forget you xx