Charity ball to be held in memory of courageous Sunderland youngster

Jasmine Purvis with parents Jamie Harvey, dad Chris Purvis, granddad Colin Hope and her favourite player Jermain Defoe.
Jasmine Purvis with parents Jamie Harvey, dad Chris Purvis, granddad Colin Hope and her favourite player Jermain Defoe.

The family of a little Sunderland girl who won Jermain Defoe’s heart with her adorable smile are getting set to hold a charity ball in her memory.

Jasmine Purvis tragically died aged just two in October last year after battling a heart defect known as a pulmonary hypertension.

Jasmine Purvis touched many hearts with her smile.

Jasmine Purvis touched many hearts with her smile.

The courageous little girl, from Canon Cockin Street, was born with Down’s syndrome and the heart defect, which meant which meant the right side of the organ had stopped working.

But despite her health troubles, she never stopped smiling.

During her last months, her family made it their mission to grant her last wishes which included raising thousands of pounds in under the name ‘Jasmine’s Hearts’ for the Children’s Heart Unit (CHUF) at the Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital which cared for her in the past.

Now grandad Colin Hope, 36, has organised a charity ball called Jasmine’s Hearts Summer Ball to take place on Saturday, August 5, at The Point in Sunderland.

Jasmine had a special bond with former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who even sent flowers when she sadly died.

Jasmine had a special bond with former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who even sent flowers when she sadly died.

The event aims to raise funds for Saras Hope Foundation, which provides a villa in Crete for terminally ill children and their families.

Mr Hope said: “We are raising funds for a North East charity in Jasmine’s memory.

“All of the money will go to the Saras Hope Foundation, which has helped children including Bradley Lowery.

“So far we have managed to raise around £6,000 for the CHUF in Jasmine’s name and we are still looking to set up our own charity in her name.”

The event, which will kick off at 7pm, will feature a buffet and entertainment from the likes of teenage songstress Jacee Pink and duo ‘The Up Highs.’

In her short life, Jasmine put up a brave fight with her condition, undergoing major heart surgery at just five months old.

But she sadly took a turn for the worst a year later, in November 2015, when she became poorly again.

She was transported to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was diagnosed with the condition.

Her mum Jamie Harvey and dad Chris Purvis - who are also parents to Jessie Robins, five, and Jodie Robins, eight - were then given the devastating news that doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital couldn’t do anything more.

During her last few months, the family set about making her final wishes come true which included meeting Jermain Defoe and the rest of the Sunderland team at the club’s Academy of Light training base.

The former Sunderland striker and the club even sent flowers in Sunderland AFC colours when she sadly died.

Colin added: “Jasmine had a special bond with Jermain Defoe and his name is on the back of her gravestone.
“He was amazing with her when they met.”

Tickets are now available for £10 each of £70 for a table of £10.

To buy tickets simply call Colin on: 07599862300. Or message Colin Hope directly on Facebook.