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Bounce Back Boy

Bounce Back Boy

Josh Cawley died a distressing death supported by his family who fought for all of his short life to get the care he needed. Bounce Back Boy is a film that explores the life and the death of 23 year old Josh following catastrophic injuries inflicted by his birth parents.

It explores how his, and his adoptive family's complex needs were inadequately identified, assessed and supported by health and social care professionals. 

The original play was written by playwright Brian Daniels, in conjunction with Josh’s adoptive mother Lynn Cawley, who had to co-ordinate his care whilst fighting for the system to recognise his needs. Josh's needs were considered too 'complex' for the local hospice. 

A question and answer session with Josh’s adoptive mother, Lynn follows directly on from the main film. She describes some of the things she would like to be done differently and the impact living with Josh had on her life and those of her immediate family.

Film objectives

The primary objectives of the film are to provoke discussion, and:

  • raise awareness of the multiple challenges that can arise when a young person with complex needs is dying
  • promote understanding of the human impact of inadequate support for individuals and those that love them at the end of life
  • highlight the importance of tailoring care to individual and family needs at the end of life
  • improve the quality and experience of palliative and end of life care for young adults and people with learning difficulties.

Bounce Back Boy webinar

The below webinar, titled ‘The Bounce Back Boy: A reflective resource for nurses caring for people with complex needs at the end of life’, is delivered by Dr. Kate Lillie on behalf of the RCN Pain and Palliative Care Forum and encourages viewers to take time to consider the issues raised by the original film.

 The forum decided to support the development of the resource after the original play was performed at the RCN Congress, as it was both moving and highlighted many of the issues that can occur when people have complex needs at the end of their life.

Page last updated - 14/12/2023