A DENTAL nurse has taken social media by storm after dressing up as a popular children’s book character to raise money for the hospice which cared for her daughter at the end of her life.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices said it had had a flurry of donations after Zoe Skinner dressed up as Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

Zoe, who lives in Halstead with husband, Luke, was taking part in the hospice’s Dress Up Fridays initiative which sees supporters put on fancy dress and post pictures on social media to fundraise for EACH.

Zoe felt compelled to help the children’s hospice after it looked after her daughter Phoebe who tragically died aged six last year.

The youngster was rushed to Colchester Hospital are suffering a violent seizure when she was four-years-old.

It left Phoebe needing 24-hour care and she was eventually diagnosed with a mitochondrial condition which means cells fail to produce enough energy for organs to function properly.

Zoe said: “Our whole world fell apart when we found out.

“We knew one day we would lose our little girl and it was utterly heart-breaking.

“As Jehovah’s Witnesses we do have a hope for the future but this didn’t stop the fact we felt heartbroken.”

Phoebe was referred to the children’s hospice in August 2017 and remained under its care until her death in October 2019.

Zoe added: “We felt at home at the hospice.

“It was a place associated with playing and as a family we felt calm when we arrived there.

“I can’t explain how much harder I think everything would have been if Phoebe had died in the hospital.

“I can’t fault the care Phoebe had at the hospital, but at the hospice it’s just so different.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“The worst day of our lives was made easier by some of the most amazingly kind people I have ever met.”

Zoe’s fundraising efforts have come at a critical time for EACH, which has lost a significant amount of income due to the cancellation of fundraising events and closure of shops due to the coronavrius pandemic.

It has launched an emergency appeal to raise £1.8 million to help it care for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

To donate to the hospice, visit justgiving.com/campaign/each-covid19.