Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hospital staff help fulfil swim wish of Evelyn Nolan, four

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Media captionEvelyn died on Friday - two days after the swim.

The parents of a four-year-old girl have thanked hospital staff for helping to fulfil their wish of one last swim with her.

Evelyn Nolan, who had a complex seizure disorder, was receiving palliative care at University Hospital Southampton.

Hospital staff specially adapted a ventilator to allow Evelyn to go into the water with her parents.

Her mother, Debbie Vavangas, said: "We knew it was a huge ask but they made it happen for us."

Image copyright Nolan family
Image caption Hospital staff specially adapted the equipment to allow Evelyn to go into the water with her parents

'Final gift'

"The minute we put her in the water her whole body relaxed and she had a smile on her face," Ms Vavangas said.

"It was truly, truly magical.

"We wanted to give her a final gift, the team at the hospital made all of that possible."

Evelyn, who had her first seizures at three months old, was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disorder.

The main impact of the condition meant she was profoundly epileptic.

Dr Michael Griksaitis, paediatric intensive care consultant at the hospital, said: "Evelyn was a very brave young girl who so many of our staff were extremely fond of.

"To have given Evelyn and her family such a significant memory at such a difficult time means a great deal to everyone involved."

She died on 19 August two days after the swim.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Evelyn's mother, Debbie Vavangas, described the swim as "truly magical"

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