'Darling' Kristin, 12, dies in peace at family home
By West Briton | Thursday, January 12, 2012, 08:00
THE PARENTS of a "darling little girl who made a huge impact on everyone she met" have thanked all those who helped and supported her over the past decade.
Kristin Fern of Trevenen near Helston, who has died at home at the age of 12.
Kristin Fern, aged 12, died peacefully on New Year's Day at the home at Trevenen, near Helston, she shared with parents Anita and Tim and sisters Helena and Isobel.
She was diagnosed with a brain tumour about ten years ago and lost her sight over the next six months.
The couple had particular praise for Karen Berriman and Sue Turk, CLIC Sargent nurses at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
Mr Fern said: "They really did make all the difference."
Without their professionalism and support, he said, Kristin would have spent more time in hospital. The couple also praised staff on Treliske's Sennen ward and doctors Nikki Gilbertson and Katrina MacDonald.
"Sue and Karen did all the practical things. They came to the house, helped us and advised us," Anita said.
Her husband praised the nurses for their support "in the darkest times ... they have immense medical skill" and showed empathy and great professionalism: "They are remarkable."
The fact that Kristin had been able to spend so much time at home, rather than in medical surroundings, was something he was extremely grateful for. "It meant the world to us," said Mr Fern.
Kristin was able to spend Christmas at home surrounded by presents and family.
Anita said their daughter also received a great deal of support from teachers at Wendron and Mullion schools along with her classmates and other parents.
She had "brilliant" guidance from braille teacher Peter Hooker at Wendron as well as from Julia Crimmen, Helen Taylor and Cheryl Thomas.
Later, at Mullion School, Kristin had "fantastic support" from head teacher Mike Sandford and colleague Amanda Hipkiss.
Jenny Moss, her new braille teacher, became a firm friend, too, as did Sharon Strike.
Anita said Kristin's influence on her friends and classmates illustrated the benefits to all of having disabled children in mainstream schools.
Outside school there was support from Riding for the Disabled.
Actor Toby Jones recorded a special message for Harry Potter fan Kristin in the voice he used as Dobby the house elf in the films.
And Atlantic FM allowed her to record a weather forecast as her ambition was to be a weather reporter.
Anita said that although Kristin's physical condition started to deteriorate last year, she never complained or questioned why she was different.
"I held Kristin in my arms as she died and I do believe that, right up to her final moment, she knew she was safe and loved – as ever."