Odette Mould’s world crumbled when her five-year-old son Harry died after being admitted to Milton Keynes hospital with a suspected asthma attack.
The coroner ruled that “gross failures” by the hospital contributed to the tragedy, which happened in 2009
A delay in medication and oxygen deprivation led to Harry suffering catastrophic brain stem damage, the inquest heard.
Odette said: “I could feel the anger and pain welling up inside of me. It takes an immense amount of strength not to let it consume me but I made a choice to channel that into doing good, just like Harry would have done.”
Harry was a twin and his sister Jessica was both bewildered and devastated to lose him.
“We found it very difficult to get the bereavement help and support we needed as a family and in particular for Jessica, a five and half year old who had lost her twin brother,” said Odette. “There wasn’t really anywhere locally that we could turn to."
She and her husband decided to set up Harry’s Rainbow charity as a legacy to their son, with the specific aim of helping other bereaved children.
Over the years, they have help more than 500 youngsters and their families. They run regular support groups, activities and trips as well as giving individual tailored support.
Their services range from the providing books, resources and individually tailored memory boxes to activities that promote wellbeing by building confidence and self-esteem.
They predominantly built to support the bereaved child, but all activities ensure that parents and carers are involved and also supported as a result.
The charity has also raised tens of thousands of pounds to fund this help and also improve care for children. This has including paying for the bereaved family room at MK hospital to be refurbished.
They also purchased an 8 berth caravan at the Park Resorts Holiday Park in CamberSands, christening it the 'Rainbow Retreat' to provide a place for bereaved families to families get away from the daily stress and spend time together to create some new memories.
The money is raised through numerous events, such as the annual Jessica’s Rainbow Colour Run, which will be held on Saturday in Wolverton. Children and young people of all ages can run, walk, hop, skip or jump a course of half a mile or a mile.
Odette also has small army of Harry's Heroes, people who regularly give up their family time to volunteer at events, come up with ideas, run their own fundraising events, sell raffle tickets and spread the “positive vibe” of Harry's Rainbow.
Last year the charity has won a gold award in the SME MK & Buckinghamshire Business awards and Odette won a separate gold award for Lockdown Leader because of how she kept the “vital help” going during the Covid crisis.
"My hope is that together we can continue this vital work for years to come to ensure we continue with our vision to support bereaved children today for a brighter tomorrow,” said Odette.