I didn’t meet Eva before she died. But in ten months, she touched so many people’s lives, and mine was one of them.
Eva died unexpectedly last week, and I’m writing this post because I know my own readers were moved by her story when I shared how her mother Tessa Prebble inspires me. Even if you only read about Eva for the first time last week, if you have been awed like me by the strength of her mother, please do read this post by Tessa which explains ways to remember Eva.
Eva was born in New Zealand. Her mother Tessa is a beautiful and talented writer and teacher I met almost a decade earlier at journalism school. Through Tessa’s blog, I followed her motherhood journey.
Eva was blind and deaf and diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome – a rare and complex genetic pattern of defects. If you are able to support the CHARGE Foundation in memory of Eva, please do. It is amazing to think that in ten short months she has left a legacy which will make a difference to the lives of other babies with this complex syndrome.
Tessa wrote about the challenges she and Eva faced with unflinching honesty. Like I said last week, I was constantly inspired by her courage and her strength. She wrote about becoming a new mother, she wrote about the constant medical appointments and challenges Eva faced. She wrote about their daily lives as mother and daughter – the first Christmas, the new highchair, the first smile.
Tessa also wrote about learning to see the world in a new way. With Eva by her side, she saw life very differently. She wrote about starting to truly appreciate the every day and the little things. Through her blog, The One in a Million Baby, her readers too came to see joy and light and happiness and good in places where Eva showed it to exist.
Tessa wrote on her Facebook page and blog in the middle of last week that ten-month-old Eva went to bed with a slight cold. A few hours later, she woke crying. She died very soon after.
Eva was farewelled and her life was celebrated in a ceremony in New Zealand at the start of this week. Around the world, candles were lit in her memory. So many people who never met her Eva will hold her in their hearts forever and see the world differently because she was in it.
Tessa’s friends have set up a donation page for people to donate to the CHARGE Foundation in memory of Eva. You can find it here.
To read more about Eva’s life, read Tessa’s blog at The One in a Million Baby.
Rest in peace little Eva X