A couple from Wymondham, whose son died when he was just 18 months old, is supporting a new fundraising scheme created by the children’s hospice which has provided them with invaluable support.

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Brad and Debbie McLean, of Norwich Road, are supporting East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each) Pay for a Day scheme at Quidenham hospice in memory of their son, Stanley, who died in July 2012 after complications with heart surgery.

Each is asking supporters to raise either £16,000 to cover the costs of running the organisation for a day or £5,300 – the equivalent of providing services at a children’s hospice.

Stanley was born on January 2, 2011 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a heart condition.

He underwent heart surgery at just eight days old at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and after three months of being in hospital, Mr and Mrs McLean were able to bring him home. But when he was five months old, Stanley’s condition deteriorated and he had surgery again – this time an eight hour operation which took him a month to recover from. In July 2012, Stanley underwent surgery for the third time but complications occurred and he died shortly after surgery on July 24.

The couple have benefited from bereavement counselling, provided by family support practitioners at the Each Quidenham hospice, and have decided through their fundraising to Pay for a Day on January 2, 2014 – which would have been Stanley’s third birthday.

Mr McLean, who is director of golf at Sprowston Manor, said: “Losing a child is something no parent should ever have to go through. There’s no manual on how to deal with it, but Each helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley.

“We’ve been to memory days at the hospice – they’re really tough, but it’s a way of celebrating Stanley’s life. When you go it’s like being part of a club that you really don’t want to be involved in – but you realise other people are going through similar things.

“Stanley’s brother, Angus, was born in November this year. He’s healthy, but we were anxious because of what we’d been through with Stanley. Debbie and I wanted to give something back to say thank-you.

The family set up The Stanley McLean Brighter Futures Fund in his memory and so far have raised more than £46,000.

A total of £5,300 has been donated to Each for Pay for a Day on January 2 in memory of Stanley and the remainder is going towards helping fund a portable echo machine at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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