Ashley Howlett, aged 11, describes what life has been like since
his younger brother became terminally ill.
It has been almost a year since my little brother Anthony was
diagnosed as terminally ill. This means his brain is ill and
Anthony will eventually die. One year ago, my brother was running
around like a normal kid. Now he can’t walk, he hardly talks
and can’t eat much or drink anything, which makes me very
upset. When he went into Alder Hey I thought I was going to lose
him after the second operation, that was a scary time. I stayed at
my aunt’s house and also my gran’s house but I just
wanted to be with my mum. I got angry with the illness that Anthony
When we first heard about Anthony I was worried I might also get
ill because if he had it, I could get it too.
Life in our house has changed a lot this year. Laura has decided
to go and live with her real mum in Bury. Mum and dad have got more
things to do for Anthony and less time for other things, they are
always tired and sometimes upset. This makes me upset and angry but
I don’t always know why and who with.
Sometimes it’s hard at school if they are talking about
death or funerals and I have to ask to leave the room. The teachers
are very good and they allow me to do that. It was difficult for me
too when Anthony was in hospital and I had my big exams to sit to
see if I could get into grammar school. It was hard but I managed
to pass the exams.
I talk a lot to my friends Matthew and Daniel. People close to
Matthew have died and he understands a bit about what it’s
like with Anthony. When Anthony was in hospital, Daniel came to sit
and talk with me there. I’ve known him almost all my life so
he knows me pretty well. My friends help me to see that life can
still be fun.
It is good to go to Claire House, the hospice. It looks after
the ill children and the brothers and sisters. Mum and dad get a
good night’s sleep and I get to go on activity holidays and
do other cool things. Having a brother with an illness makes me
upset and sad, but I love Anthony and he will always be my kid