Millwall football fans and grieving family honour brave Bethany at Den Christmas fundraiser

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Millwall football fans and a grieving family and friends have united at a fundraising event held in honour of a young girl who passed away this year.

The Christmas fundraiser at the Lions’ ground, The Den, raised cash to remember Bethany Simpson of Rotherhithe, who lost her life in February, at eight months old, suffering from a rare heart defect.

Cash raised will go to Evelina Children’s Hospital, Waterloo, and Demelza Hospice in Eltham, who provided Bethany’s care.

Behind the campaign are Millwall fans Charlie Pearce, Harry Brooks, Eddie Toomey and
Peter Noden.

Last year, they raised £7.5k – and this year they’re already on £10k and counting, and are still taking donations on their JustGiving page.

Charlie said: “We are doing it in memory of a very special little lady who was present at last year’s event, Bethany, who sadly lost her battle earlier in the year.

“Bethany and her family used the services of Evelina and Demelza, so again, we cannot think of two causes that are more worthy than these.”

Bethany’s mother, Sabrina, said the boys were like family, and that the night was very emotional, with one stellar speech from Harry leaving family members in tears.

“I was so touched that the boys asked if they could do it again this year,” she said.
“It’s been such a nice experience. Such a team effort. I’m in awe of them.

“The fact that the money is going back into the system to help families who have been in the same situation, is great.”

Bethany was born at St Thomas’ Hospital in Waterloo, with a rare congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS. Six hours after birth she was moved to Evelina Children’s Hospital.

Sabrina, who works in the labour ward at King’s College Hospital, Camberwell, initially chose for her daughter to receive palliative care at home. She said: “The words hospice and palliative care are very scary words. That’s why I declined at first.

“Then we did two weeks at Demelza. They were amazing. We’d walk in and we’d lose our boys – the staff would take them off to do something constructive or play with them.

“The care at Evelina was also next to none.”

The family still receive support from Demelza.


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