Lizzy was just 11 when her sister was diagnosed with rare disease ‘Wegener’s granulomatosis’ at Alder Hey Children’s hospital in Liverpool.
The disease inflames blood vessels and slows circulation, causing irreversible organ damage throughout the body.
Six months after her admission in March 2007, Eleanor died.
Lizzy was soon put in touch with Cruse Bereavement Care, a counselling charity part-funded by Children In Need.
Now, as a young woman studying for her A-levels, Lizzy reflects on how her bereavement counsellors helped get her through the traumatic time.
“I could talk to my mum and dad but I just didn’t want to see them upset, so to have someone who would listen to me was incredibly important,” she says.
Lizzy remembers experiencing a barrage of emotions as she tried to come to terms with her sister’s death. The counselling allowed her to talk about those emotions without feeling like she was being judged. She was also able to meet other young people going through similar ordeals.
According to Cruse counsellor Gill Skinner, it is very common for young children to feel like they are the only people going through so much pain.
Gill believes the social groups funded by Children In Need help young people grieving for loved ones see that they are not alone in their pain.
Lizzy says that although the loss of her sister has left a ‘big hole’ in her life, she is still able to think of all the fun times they had together, and the happiness they shared in each others company.
She now looks forward to a bright future studying occupational therapy at University and hopes to use her experience to help other young people suffering from a loss.
Bereavement counselling aims to support people through their grief. To find out more, please visit our Bereavement page.
View and comment on the original BBC News article.