Sophie Flynn met her great-grandmother with dementia for the first time and touched the hearts of many people around the world. When 5-year-old Sophie, from County Offlay, Ireland, met her great-grandmother Brenda Brock, 82, in Norwich, Sophie’s parents Sarah Miller and William Flynn were concerned that Brenda would frighten the young child.
Brenda is blind and is in advanced stages of dementia. Perhaps Sophie’s parents were wrong.
Sarah briefly described Sophie and Brenda’s first encounter.
“Sophie just jumped straight into bed with nana and started chatting to her and singing to her and stroking her face. Sophie brought her back to life. It was amazing — we just couldn’t believe it. When they were together it was like they were the only two people in the room.”
Sarah explained how Brenda’s dementia is affecting her.
“Nana isn’t very responsive; she doesn’t know who I am or who my mum Yvonne, her daughter, is most of the time. She only remembers her husband Joe and he is the only one she talks to but straight away she started engaging with Sophie.”
It turns out that though Brenda has dementia, is blind, and apprehensive of people, she really enjoyed seeing and hearing young Sophie, Sarah points out.
“Nana is very scared of new people but she was completely at ease with Sophie. She kept asking for Sophie for the two days we stayed in Norwich.”
According to an article by Daily Record, on Sophie’s first day of school, Sophie’s grandfather, Sandy Miller, uploaded a video of the pair together and it continues to spread across social media.
Sarah can’t believe the reaction from people who viewed the video.
“The reaction to the video has been unreal. I’ve had messages from people all over the world telling me Sophie has touched their hearts and it has given them hope for their own relatives with dementia. I’ve had a lot of messages from nurses saying this is what people with dementia need and so I hope Sophie’s video can help others. It’s been overwhelming but I am so pleased it is helping others.”
People, like Kim O’Flynn, are sharing their own stories related to family members with dementia.
“What a beautiful heart, such compassion. Reminds me of my own beautiful daughter how has shown the same kindness and care for my mum who has had Alzheimer’s since my daughter was born, nine years later we are still loving the time we have together. My wonderful mum will still react to her voice with a smile whenever we visit. Very cruel illness but can bring out the best in people.”
Sophie giving a big smile to the camera. (Photo courtesy of The Daily Record)
The Mirror‘s coverage of this inspiring story relating to dementia provides a comment from Jeni Tucker-Stringer.
“The tears are streaming from eyes I can hardly see to type. How wonderful for her great grandmother to be loved like that and I’m sure in that moment she knew she was, regardless of her dementia. That little girl is an inspiration and a beautiful soul.”
[Featured image via The Daily Mirror]