Saturday 4 December 2021
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Nottingham

West Bridgford florist recreates ‘Olivia’ bouquet in memory of five-year-old girl who died in hospital

Slades Florist will donate 10% of the price to charity Pyjama Fairies.

The story started when Aimee Wood, a teacher at West Bridgford Junior School received a bunch of flowers on February 24 this year, on the first anniversary of her daughter Olivia’s death.

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Olivia, 5, was taken into hospital for surgery in February 2020.

She was believed to be recovering but then suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in her hospital bed.

But the flowers were not addressed to the 41-year-old, and there was a happy birthday message which had been sent to her by mistake.

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Aimee’s cousin Amanda James, who had ordered the flowers from online florist Eflorist for Aimee, was upset to hear what had happened.

Amanda posted a complaint on an Eflorist Facebook group, which was spotted by Lewes florist Archie Tipple, who co-owns Riverside Flowers in the south coast town.

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He offered to create a personalised bouquet in memory of Olivia and donate money to Aimee’s chosen charity.

Aimee said: “February 24 was the first anniversary of my daughter’s death.

“It’s been a horrendous year but my cousin Amanda has been wonderful all the way through.

“She was upset about the flowers and posted on the Eflorist Facebook complaints group – but then she said she’d had a message from a florist down in Sussex.

“They wanted to create a personalised bouquet for Olivia and donate to a charity of my choice. The arrangement is inspired by Olivia’s favourite film, Frozen.’

“I think they are quite a small florist. Donating to charity in these hard times, and to do something for someone completely outside their community – it was just a beautiful thing to do.

“It was a completely selfless act.”

People all over the West Bridgford and Nottingham area started to get in touch to order the Olivia bouquet!

Aimee added: I shared this wonderful act of kindness to the page I have in Olivia’s memory https://www.facebook.com/oliviaashleywood.

‘There was an overwhelming response from people local to me here in Nottingham, wishing they could purchase a bouquet that not only was so beautiful but also supported the wonderful charity Pyjama Fairies.

‘I made contact with local family-run florist, Slades on Melton Road in the hope they may recreate the Olivia design created by Archie Wilson of the florist in Lewes but would also donate a small percentage donation to the Pyjama Fairy charity.

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Olivia bouquet
© westbridgfordwire.com

‘I was in tears of joy when they said yes! Small businesses are struggling enough right now so I didn’t know whether they would consider something like this but I was incredibly touched when they agreed.’

Pyjama Fairies is the only UK charity to make pyjamas and surgical gowns specially designed for babies and children up to age 16 having surgery or any other associated medical test.

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Aimee with Josh Slade outside Slades Florist in West Bridgford with the Olivia bouquet
© westbridgfordwire.com

Each garment is made in colourful, age-appropriate fabric and is designed to minimise discomfort when medical intervention is necessary. Your child can remain fully dressed, safe and warm whilst being examined and throughout their stay in hospital.

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Olivia bouquet
© westbridgfordwire.com

While other great organisations focus on research and finding a cure, we work to improve the quality of life of children and their families as they undergo surgeries and treatment.

Pyjama Fairies mission is to make hospital stays easier for children and their families.

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Kevin and Josh at Slades on Melton Road went ahead and started to supply the bouquets.

Kevin told us:

‘We are happy to support the Pyjama Fairies as it is a great charity, and we wish to give something back, for all the people who have supported us locally, whilst we have been open during the lockdowns.’

Aimee said:

‘To me, the thought that a bouquet may just help bring an ‘Olivia Smile’ to another child in hospital is just amazing.

‘We all know that despite their beauty, flowers die in a matter of weeks but with this bouquet, the life of a child is directly impacted and forever changed. That’s pretty amazing and so very Olivia!!!!’

You can order the bouquet and support Pyjama Fairies here