By Carolyn Mayling – Rosie’s Mum
Rosie was eleven years old, clever, talented, kind, funny, mischievous, generous and exceptionally musical. Born into a theatrical family, Rosie had a love of all the performing arts and, although she was so young, had already appeared in numerous musical shows and many times in television and films.
She attended Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead, which was founded by Rosie’s grandmother and is owned and run by Rosie’s family. Together with her sister Ellie and two young friends she co-wrote, composed, produced and staged a full length musical called “Forever and a Day” which was performed at the Novello Theatre in Ascot in September 2002.
In December 2002 Rosie became ill and was eventually diagnosed with vasculitis, a rare and devastating illness affecting the blood vessels. Rosie was discharged at the end of April 2003. Six days later, at home she suffered a fatal pulmonary haemmorrage. She died on May 14th 2003.
During her treatment at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Rosie expressed a wish to raise money for the new children’s hospital at Oxford, and to help other children undergoing lengthy hospital stays. It became increasingly apparent to Rosie, and ourselves as a family, how difficult a hospital stay is for the whole family to cope with. It can be an extremely lonely and
stressful time spending months in hospital, and extensive support for the whole family is needed.
We also became aware of the need for immediate care and support for bereaved parents. Following Rosie’s death, we set up Rosie’s Rainbow Fund.