Wigan mum’s lasting tribute to brave little baby Bobbi
Bobbi Fazackerley, from Whelley, was only two when she lost her long battle for life.
Other news: Billy Livesley murder accused at crown courtThe seriously-ill toddler was plagued with health problems from the day she was born, eight weeks prematurely.
At birth, doctors gave Bobbi a very slim chance of survival after discovering that her airways were not completely developed - causing her to suffer from constant infections.
But Liam and Annellen never gave up their hope that she could overcome her health problems and learn to walk and talk, go to school and grow up with other children her own age.
Despite being told that their little girl “wouldn’t make it through the night” when she was first born, Annellen and Liam had two years and two months with Bobbi before she died in November 2005.
“She just couldn’t do it anymore,” said Annellen - who was only 24 at the time of Bobbi’s death.
“The whole time she was alive she had lung issues.
“We always had that hope that she would get better, if her lungs developed. But after so many infections she just couldn’t recover again.”
Following her death, Annellen set about trying to improve support for full-time carers to make sure that future families would get the support they did not receive.
Due to Bobbi’s serious condition, Annellen gave up her job to care for her daughter full-time while Liam continued to work.
“One of the things I remember at the time was that no one told us anything,” said Annellen.
“They just said that there was a reasonable expectation that we should know everything.
“Recently I have been talking in Parliament to try and help carers in the UK and change the policy for them.
“It’s been brilliant so far. The Minister of Health even approached me to say it really resonated with her.”
In particular, Annellen is lobbying for easier access to information for carers and better financial support.
Since Bobbi’s death, the devastated couple have gone on to have two more children, Noah, 11, and Elliott, seven.
Annellen has also qualified as a paediatric nurse, caring for youngsters who need to be artificially fed, much like Bobbi.
In another moving tribute to their daughter, Annellen and Liam are hosting a fund-raising event for Carers UK and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital ICU, where Bobbi spent most of her short life.
The “Sweet 16” themed evening was an idea brought about by Liam’s cousin Jessica Tanner, to celebrate what would have been Bobbi’s 16th birthday.
“We are so touched that Jessica thought of this wonderful idea to celebrate Bobbi’s memory,” said Annellen. “This year, Bobbi would have been 16 so it’s a great way to mark the occasion and raise money for charity in her honour.
“Bobbi never got to go to her own prom or 16th birthday so it will be nice to all dress up and remember her.
“It’s also being held in the right place, at DW Stadium, where me and Liam got married on Bobbi’s first birthday.”
Bobbi was named after Wigan Athletic goal-scoring legend Bobby Campbell - Liam is an avid fan.
Following her untimely death the club supported the family, hosting a fund-raising night to raise money for St Mary’s maternity hospital in Manchester.
Ahead of the sweet 16 charity night, the family is appealing for auction and raffle prizes, as well as an MC, a photographer and someone to help dress the chairs.
Tickets cost £40 and will include a red carpet welcome, drinks reception, a four course meal, live band, auction, raffle and DJ.
The line-up so far includes live music from Redhouse, who have donated their fee to the charity fund as well as a DJ set from Shaun Bootham who has also given his fee to the cause.
To buy tickets or to help out with the event, contact Annellen on 07972 282833 or email Jessica Tanner at [email protected]uk