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Gillingham schoolgirl Grace Lomas nominated for a Tommy’s Center Parcs Super Sibling Award

Grace Lomas is only eight but she was a tower of strength for her family when her baby brother was ill.

The calm, quick-thinking schoolgirl, then seven, rushed to mother Andrea’s aid when little Charlie stopped breathing.

And she has supported her younger sister and brother through a terrible time for the family after Charlie died.

Grace, from Gillingham, has now been put forward for a Super Sibling award, given to a big brother or sister who has shown themselves to be wise beyond their years.

Charlie was born six weeks early on January 2, 2016, and was diagnosed with sleep apnoea, a breathing condition, in June.

In the early hours of the morning on August 20, Charlie’s alarm went off as he had suffered a severe episode and stopped breathing.

Mrs Lomas said: “Grace heard me screaming and shouting for help. She very calmly called her Poppa’s phone number to come help look after her and her siblings.

Grace and Charlie Lomas
Grace and Charlie Lomas

“Not once did she panic or cry even while I was on the phone to the ambulance services. Her bravery and quick-thinking was above and beyond anything I thought she could ever do.”

After Grace hung up, she ran to her next door neighbour’s house to get more help and kept the front door unlocked for the ambulance crew.

When paramedics arrived she told her mum: “It’s OK, Mummy, Charlie will be OK, I can see the blue lights.”

Her sister, Faith, five, then woke up and Mrs Lomas remembers Grace taking her back upstairs saying: “It’s OK Faith, Nana and Poppa are coming, Charlie’s just a little bit poorly.”

Mrs Lomas and her husband Graham decided to turn off Charlie’s life support machine and he died on August 23.

Grace Lomas, centre, with dad Graham, sister Faith, brother Arthur and mum Andrea
Grace Lomas, centre, with dad Graham, sister Faith, brother Arthur and mum Andrea

Mrs Lomas, 33, also mother to Arthur, two, said the whole family was devastated by Charlie’s death, but Grace was always ready to help.

“Throughout Charlie’s little life Grace was the best big sister he could ever ask for,” she said.

“She would cradle him if he was crying, she would read him stories and sing him songs, she would sit with him while he was in his crib and talk to him, feed him help me bath him.

“There was not one thing that she wouldn’t do for her baby brother. When visiting him in hospital I could see the pain in her eyes.

Grace and Charlie Lomas
Grace and Charlie Lomas

"The love she has for him is unmeasurable and she misses him terribly.

“She held him in the hospital before we had to turn his machines off so she got to say her final goodbye.

“Grace has supported her younger siblings throughout this awful time and has been a tower of strength for everyone.”

The winners of the Tommy’s Center Parcs Super Sibling Awards will be announced in March. Tommy’s is a charity which funds research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature births.

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