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Archive for January, 2016

Isla The Smiler – there can be no better title to describe the story of little Isla, the brave four year old who, due to a complex digestive issue, can not eat or drink a drop. Not even water. At first it can be easy to overlook just what an impact that could have on your life, but it’s overwhelming in reality. Think of all the ways food and drink are associated with almost everything we do. Celebrating, socialising, comforting, recharging, soothing – food and drink are integral to the very foundation of our lives.

Mum Ashlee is incredible – she’s encouraged Isla to cook and play with food so it doesn’t become a scary unknown. Isla is quite the young masterchef and enjoys watching her family enjoy her creations while she can’t. Such a sweetheart – we hope she’s well enough for Great Ormond Street to run tests to help her soon.

Isla is in this week’s Reveal magazine and will be coming up in more titles soon – watch this space!

test here BMcCThis is the heartbreaking story of a brave young girl slowly losing all motor skills to Batten Disease. Effie is an adorable little lady and while the worst possible things happen to her, she just keeps on smiling. Interviewing Effie’s lovely mum Carly, I discovered that when Carly was first born, there was nothing mum and daughter loved more than pitching a tent in the garden and climbing in to read stories. Isn’t that a lovely image? And now, with their days together numbered, they still pitch their tent and read their stories. Memories are sacred and keep the family going.

For more information on Batten Disease, please visit

If your child is facing impossible health issues and you’d like to raise awareness and tell your story, please get in touch today. We shared Carly’s story in Pick Me Up magazine over Christmas and in a few weeks, look out for Carly in Reveal magazine too.

Thank you!

A fabulously positive first story of 2016 – three incredible women with inspiring stories to tell of the friend / daughter / doctor who saved their life. Jo’s daughter called for an ambulance when she slipped into anaphylactic shock. Just two years old at the time, the experience had a profound effect on Izzy, who’s gone on to campaign to encourage other kids to know how to call for an ambulance, saving infinite other lives in the process. And she’s still only eight years old!
Suzie’s gastric band went wrong, leaving her in cardiac arrest for 45 minutes. Her surgeon, Dr Halstead, never gave up on her and Suzie is now loving every minute of the life he saved. Finally Cath and Claire, best friends who shared a weight loss journey. Claire inspired Cath to lose weight on the Cambridge Weightloss Plan – when she did, she discovered a lump she would otherwise not have felt. Her cancer was advanced and aggressive and she was able to get the medical care she needed. Cath credits Claire with saving her life.

Happy 2016 one and all – here’s to friendship, families and medical marvels. To lives saved and lived to the max. We’re so lucky at Phoenix Features, getting to write about incredible people like this every day.