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Parents' care donation to mark day son would have been eight

PUBLISHED: 08:11 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:45 03 January 2019

Brad and Debbie McLean with their son, Stanley. Photo: Submitted

Brad and Debbie McLean with their son, Stanley. Photo: Submitted

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A couple whose son died of a serious heart condition are marking what would have been his eighth birthday by paying for a day of care from the charity that supported them.

Brad and Debbie McLean donated a day's worth of care to EACH charity to mark their late son's eighth birthday. Photograph Simon ParkerBrad and Debbie McLean donated a day's worth of care to EACH charity to mark their late son's eighth birthday. Photograph Simon Parker

Brad and Debbie McLean, from Wymondham, lost their 18-month-old son Stanley in June 2012 after complications during surgery.

Born on January 2, 2011, Wednesday would be Stanley’s eighth birthday and the Wymondham parents said they wanted to honour the date by donating a day’s worth of care to charity East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Stanley was born with a condition called tetralogy of fallot, further complicated by a missing pulmonary valve.

At just eight days old, Stanley underwent critical surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital, followed by a three-month stay in hospital.

Brad and Debbie McLean from Wymondham received bereavement counselling from EACH after little Stanley died in July 2012, following complications with heart surgery. Photo: Courtesy of EACHBrad and Debbie McLean from Wymondham received bereavement counselling from EACH after little Stanley died in July 2012, following complications with heart surgery. Photo: Courtesy of EACH

But five months after the Wymondham family were allowed to take their son home, his condition deteriorated and he was rushed back to hospital for a risky eight-hour operation.

Just months later, the youngster underwent his third surgery and tragically lost his battle with the condition.

In the years following his death, Mr and Mrs McLean have raised thousands of pounds for EACH.

The charity, which gives support and care for children with life threatening illnesses, provided bereavement counselling for the grief stricken parents after Stanley’s death and the youngster’s father said it meant a lot to the couple to give back.

Stanley McLean in 2011, while in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.   Photo by Simon FinlayStanley McLean in 2011, while in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Photo by Simon Finlay

Mr McLean, who became an EACH Trustee in 2016, said: “Receiving the support from EACH after losing Stan was invaluable and we’re so grateful they were there for us at our absolute lowest, and continue to be there for so many families every day.

“Giving a little bit back to EACH every year by paying for a day of care and support is our way of remembering Stanley on his birthday and throughout the year.”

Carol Plunkett, EACH Norfolk fundraising manager, said it costs the charity £5,600 a day to deliver their services and they were grateful for the support from Stanley’s parents.

She said: “This annual contribution from the Stanley McLean Trust is a massive help.

Brad and Debbie McLean with sons Gus, five, and Otis, two, after being presented with a plaque in recognition of their latest donation. Photo: EACHBrad and Debbie McLean with sons Gus, five, and Otis, two, after being presented with a plaque in recognition of their latest donation. Photo: EACH

“It’s also, of course, a brilliant way of keeping Stanley’s memory alive.”

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