15 month infant Eric Elliott (Submitted by: Home Hospice Association)15 month infant Eric Elliott (Submitted by: Home Hospice Association)

Scholarship launched in Lambton County baby's memory

A Toronto-area hospice association has created a scholarship in the memory of a Lambton County baby who died in 2022.

The Eric Elliott Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to honour the memory of 15-month-old Eric Elliott, who died in a drowning incident at his home in Florence on August 28, 2022.

Co-founder and CEO of the Home Hospice Association Tracey Robertson said the fund is part of a scholarship program for people who would like to be trained to support families and individuals experiencing infant or pregnancy loss.

"Oftentimes the person that has the right heart and the right ability may not be in a financial position to educate themselves to do this work, so the scholarship fund really eliminates the barrier of finances," she said. "We're not just looking at whether or not someone is in a financial position to actually be trained to perform in the role."

This scholarship allows people to help parents like Eric's family to work through their grief.

Robertson said after Eric's death, his grandmother Tammy Elliott wrote a blog post about her and her family's grief.

"That really made us understand her grief and her journey and what the family was going through and the tragedy of Eric's passing. It gave us a bit of inspiration or a lot of the inspiration to be able to say how can we make something beautiful out of such a horrible situation," she said.

Robertson said throughout the process the Home Hospice Association met with Eric's parents and grandmother continually so they could share their grief and pain.

"So we could get to a place where we knew that we would be able to do something that would be very important, would honour Eric but would also honour and respect the grief that his family is experiencing and will experience forever," she said.

The scholarship was launched on his birthday, May 31.

Robertson said this scholarship will be done on an ongoing basis.

Currently, the scholarship is worth $4,000 but donations are being accepted so the total could grow.

"A training program is $700, so $4,000 is a great start in order to have some money to be able to fully scholarship people that may apply," she said.

Anyone looking to donate to the scholarship or apply can do so on the Home Hospice Association's website.

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