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Supporting Sudden Death In Children & Young Adults
Rhian Burke

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Rhian Mannings Burke - Founder and Chief Executive

In February 2012 Rhian Burke had just returned to work as a P.E. teacher after having her youngest son George when tragedy struck her family. George died suddenly with no sign of illness in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant on the 22nd February. Just days later Paul, her husband and the Daddy to her three children, took his own life traumatised by the loss of their son.

The tragedy of experiencing the sudden death of a child was compounded by the situation Rhian and her husband found themselves in at the hospital, having nowhere to privately grieve and say goodbye to their son. The family were offered no support and were left to deal with the loss of both Paul and George alone.

Motivated by a desire to ensure others would not have the same devastating experience after losing a child suddenly in hospital, Rhian set up the child bereavement charity ‘2 Wish Upon a Star’. To date the charity has raised over £1,000,000 exclusively from small public donations and local fundraising and 2 Wish Upon A Star is now an All Wales organisation helping hundreds of families every year who experience sudden and traumatic loss.

Rhian is also very passionate about mental health and regularly speaks about her own struggles since losing her boys. She took part in a BBC documentary in 2017 ‘Mind Over Marathon’ raising awareness of mental health and speaks out about mental health in men and following sudden bereavement.

Rhian now works full time at 2 Wish Upon A Star and is determined that every family in Wales who loses a child suddenly receives the support they truly deserve. The love and pride for her boys, along with her drive to succeed has seen the charity flourish and as a result Rhian has been recognised for her hard work on a number of occasions:

  • Halifax Giving Extra Award 2014 Winner
  • WCVA Volunteer of the Year Award 2014 Highly Commended
  • St David’s Award for Citizenship 2015 Winner
  • Prime Ministers Point of Light Award 2015 Winner
  • Leadership in the Voluntary Sector Award 2015 Highly Commended
  • Chwarae Teg Womenspire Award 2016 Winner
  • MIND Speaking Out Award 2017 Winner
  • Cwm Taf Health Board Honorary Star Award 2017
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2 Wish Upon A Star