9 March 2021

Guest Blogger Rebecca Thompson 

Rebecca is the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren, including Jessica, her youngest.

During lockdown, Rebecca has been making jewellery from sea glass and created one very special piece to raise money for Above & Beyond.

Here she tells us why the cause is so close to her heart.

Jessica was born on the 12 January 2020 at St Michael’s Hospital with a full congenital heart block and an average BPM was around 55

After spending time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Jessica was able to come home with a monitor at 10 days. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as she was readmitted with bronchiolitis which later went on to develop into pneumonia.  

At the peak of the pandemic in April last year, her heat began to fail and the decision was made to go ahead and fit a pacemaker.  

She is now totally reliant on it and still has to have oxygen sometimes when sleeping. 

For my birthday I raised money for the free transport bus in Bristol and this year I asked Jessica's mum and dad who needed our support. 

You see, I live over 300 miles away in Northumberland and although with Jessica for her first nine days, I had to return home, which was hard.  

As a result of lockdown walks on my local beach to help not only with exercise, but also cope with being on the sidelines of this stressful time, I discovered sea glass.  

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was to become a huge part of my journey through these difficult months.  I taught myself to make jewellery and due to the popularity of my pieces, I set  up a third business. To my
 surprise it went global within eight weeks.  

Both Jessica and Sophie (Jessica's mum) are under the care of Bristol hospitals for different things and will continue to be as long as they live in the area. We’d like to thank them for their past, present and future care.

So I put my few months of experience and learned skills into making a jewellery piece that celebrates all our journeys, with a unique heart shaped piece of sea glass that must be over 50 years old, but could be up to 100 due to its thickness.  I wanted it to be strong and bold just like Jessica and her parents. 

I name all my pieces and this one is called Jessica.

Rebecca organised a prize draw for the one-off piece of jewellery and raised £326.

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