THE parents of a brave Maltby youngster have spoken of their gratittude after pop star Ed Sheeran made her dying wishes come true.
Abigail Fleming passed away from cancer on 3rd April but not before Sheeran had performed for the youngster at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. The pop star made a secret visit to the hospice to see Abigail after seeing her story in the Dinnington Guardian and receiving a video message from the 14-year-old.
Abigail’s parents Richard and Maria this week spoke of their ‘fantastic, loving and kind angel’ who put everyone else before herself.
“She was so caring and always put everyone else before herself,” said Richard.
“I told her I would swap places with her and she said no, that would mean Aiden wouldn’t have a dad.”
“She made an impression on everyone.”
Abigail wrote a wish list which included meeting and seeing Ed Sheeran perform and having a 16th birthday party, despite being 14, when she was told that her cancer was terminal.
“He didn’t just make her day, it made her life,” said Maria.
“It was his only day of. He flew in from Paris to London and then caught the train to Sheffield.”
“Abigail gave him a card and a key ring to say thank you.”
“He gave her a bracelet which somebody had given him for his 18th brithday, which I now wear.”
“He was a complete gentleman and she really loved it.”
Ed makes lego models after his gigs and has agreed to donate the proceeds of the sale of the models at auction to Bluebell Wood, as well as agreeing to become an ambassador for the North Anston-based charity.
Maria and Richard were full of praise for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, where Abigail spent the last few weeks of her life.
Maria said: “They were fantastic. We cannot praise the place enough, absolutely fantastic. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”
“The only other option was hospital which would have been unbearable because of the previous times we had spent there.”
Maria said she wants to help other families in similar situations, and is planning to volunteer at Bluebell Wood.
Family, friends, as well as complete strangers, have helped to raise almost £2,000 for the charity.
Richard: “We can’t thank everyone enough for their donations. We’ve had donations from all over the place, including France. One child sent in their pocket money.”
Abigail’s funeral was a bright affair at St Bartholmew’s Church in Maltby, with mourners wearing bright colours and Hawaiian shirts, at her request. She had also designed her own Tinkerbell coffin which featured three angels, representing her parents and brother Aiden.
Abigail also requested that her mum and both sets of grandparents have small urns containing some of her ashes, so they can take her with them wherever they go.
Richard and Maria were full of praise for Gemma Kent, a nurse from Bluebell Wood, Abigail’s aunt Joanne Flemming, who set up a Just Giving page in her memory.
They also thank staff and pupils at Maltby Academy, Maltby Lilly Hall Infant and Junior schools, Rev Peter Craig-Wild, Maltby colliery and Carolyne Straw and Jackie and Kristie Ashmore for helping to arrange Abigail’s 16th birthday party.