Enjoying a family fun day

Friends of PICU is a charity which is very close to our hearts as it helps support children on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital, where Jessica has been cared for several times following her heart surgeries. The annual family fun day is one of the events we try to attend to help support the charity.

Willow and Jessica - two little heart warriors standing in front of a Friends of PICU banner at the Friends of PICU family fun day

One of my favourite things about attending the family fun day is that I usually bump into at least one heart family that we knew from our days on the ward and this year was no exception.  The first people we saw on arrival was beautiful Willow and her mummy.  Willow has the same heart condition as Jessica and the two girls were on the ward as babies together in the run-up to their first Christmas.  We have stayed in touch via social media ever since and bumped into each other at the Million Pound Party a couple of years ago.  It was lovely to see Willow again and to see how well she is currently doing, and to get a photo of two brave little heart warriors together.

Jessica sitting in the PICU retrieval ambulance

Jessica enjoyed having a look around the PICU ambulance.  She has travelled in the retrieval ambulance a couple of times – on the day she was born and again when she was transferred to Oxford at three weeks old.  Needless to say, she has no memory of this but I remember it very well and it was lovely to see her exploring the ambulance and just being curious rather than needing to be in it!

Playing with playdough at one of the stalls at the Friends of PICU family fun day

There were lots of different stalls around plus various activities for the children.  The girls had fun playing with scented playdough, hooking a duck from a paddling pool, sifting sand to find hidden animals and pulling out straws from a sandbox to find the hidden treasure.

Jessica sifting through sand to find toy animals, the sand box with buried treasure and Jessica and Sophie pulling up straws to find the treasure

No family fun day is complete without the girls getting their face painted.  Jessica opted for a pretty purple princess crown and Sophie wanted to be Minnie Mouse.

Jessica and Sophie looking in a mirror whilst waiting to have their faces painted

Jessica and Sophie with their faces painted sitting on Daddy's lap

We finished off the day by visiting some friends and the girls enjoyed having a water fight in the back garden.  As you can imagine, water fights and face paints don’t mix very well – Sophie looked like an extra from a horror movie by the end of it with black and red streaks all over her face and chest!  Thankfully it all cleaned off quite easily!

Jessica and Sophie having a water fight in our friends' garden

It was one of those perfect summer days – a fun day out, time with friends, sunshine and a water fight in the garden – and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


21 thoughts on “Enjoying a family fun day

  1. It does indeed look like a perfect day with some perfect weather too. The fun day sounds such a great idea and how wonderful to meet up with people each year you know from your time in hospital. Both Willow and Jessica look amazing, you must both be such proud Mums and even better that the girls get to know each other as they grow up too. A great way to end the day with the water fight, I’m guessing this was in last week’s heatwave.

    Thank you for sharing with me at #CountryKids

  2. A brilliant day out and it’s great you can go and support such a worthy cause so close to you. It’s great they organise it and looks like simple fun! Face paint and water is a worrying mix! #countrykids

  3. It must be so lovely to have a heart community around you, who are supportive but also just there to celebrate your little miracles! It does sound like you had a really chilled, day out. Love the image of smeared face painting, too- bet that was fun to clean!!

  4. How lovely!!
    Southampton cardiac unit is amazing. They waved my best friend’s life when she had heart failure giving birth. I’m eternally grateful.
    What a lovely day you all had x

  5. Hi Louise, it sounds as if you had a fab family day out. It must be nice to catch up with other heart warrior families. Your girls look like they had fun too. Love the face paintings.


  6. That really does sound like a fun day out. We had a disaster with face paints and sweating on the bouncy castle this week. It all just melted off. Your girls always look so sweet together x

  7. I love events like this. I never seem to find many to local to me. Wish there was more. Or if there is I wish they were better organised. Great to find something that can really get the kids involved.

    #CountryKids – Cassie at Lilyslittlelearners

  8. Oh what a lovely day you had, it must have been lovely to bump into your fellow mummy. The girls look like they had a lot of fun! #countrykids

  9. It really does seem like a perfect day out! That photo of the girls in the mirror together is just so lovely! All days should end with a water fight – especially when wearing face paints (I always struggle getting face paints off, maybe I should encourage water play next time)! #CountryKids

  10. Such a lovely event! There are so many memories that we keep as parents isnt it? Like that ambulance for you (for me was the hospital where we went before for my son).

    They look like they had so much fun and this is such an amazing charity and event to support too!


  11. What a great family fun day and so good that you can go along to support a very worthy cause and meet up with other heart families that you remember.


  12. Looks like it was a great day out. I love that mirror photo. N isn’t a fan of face painting (having only had it once done by me) so it always makes me smile seeing all the other kids with their faces done. #countrykids

  13. Looks like a fab day out and helping to raise money for a great cause. How lovely that you get to catch up with families who are going through the same experience #countrykids

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