Tribute day support overwhelms family

Maisie Gibbins, who was taken ill during a  family holiday in Cornwall and died last November

Maisie Gibbins, who was taken ill during a family holiday in Cornwall and died last November

First published in News

Mum Lissa Gibbins said her family had been overwhelmed by the love and support offered at a netball tournament held in memory of daughter Maisie.

Schoolgirl Maisie, 12, of Great Bedwyn, died in November last year, after suffering a brain aneurysm during a family holiday in Cornwall.

Last Saturday, the first event for a Maisie Gibbins Star Tribute Fund was held at Swindon’s Raychem Netball Club.

It is hoped between £2,000 and £3,000 was raised, to go towards a portable life support machine for Bristol Children’s Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit, where Maisie was treated.

Mrs Gibbins – who was at the tournament with husband Nick, Maisie’s twin, Isla, and sons George, nine, and Felix, seven – said: “It was an overwhelmingly wonderful day. Everyone was so supportive of us and we were really made to feel part of the tournament.

“The boys went around with a bucket, collecting money with their friends and cousins, and we were involved in the raffle.

“It was poignant, as Maisie would have enjoyed it so much if she could have been there. But everywhere we go there is a hole because Maisie can’t be with us.”

Mrs Gibbins paid tribute to the strength of Isla and thanked her friends from St John’s School, Marlborough, who have rallied around to support her.

“She has been incredible throughout this and all of her friends have been amazing.”

The family hopes to raise £25,000 for a new version of the portable life support machine used when Maisie was transported between hospitals.

Mrs Gibbins said: “The equipment they have is getting old and we thought this would be a good way for us to help.”

Maisie played for Marlbor-ough Junior Netball Club, which is linked to Raychem, and the club decided to give proceeds from this year’s Mo Squires Netball Tournament to the fund.

Supporters can donate at www.justgiving.com/Lissa-Gibbins

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