The Repair Shop: Parents desperate to restore late daughter’s poignant toy after she died of cancer aged seven

Tonight’s Repair Shop is going to be an emotional one (Picture: BBC)The Repair Shop will bring viewers to tears tonight after the experts try to restore a rocking horse which belonged to a little girl who died of cancer.

The toy named Gallopina belonged to seven-year-old Tamsin, who died of a brain tumour in 2008.

Tasmin’s parents, Steve and Amanda Stewart will feature on tonight’s BBC Christmas special, in hopes of restoring the horse in memory of their daughter.

The couple want to bring the toy back to life for their youngest daughter Hetty, nine, who was born two years after Tasmin died.

They also hope Gallopina will serve as a lasting memory for their eldest daughter Shona, 21.

‘Gallopina is a very solid symbol of really happy times. Having her restored in time for Christmas will be a wonderful thing,’ Steve explained.

Steve and Amanda Stewart (middle) wanted to restore their daughter’s rocking horse (Picture: BBC/Ricochet)Tasmin pictured with Gallopina (Picture: BBC)Amanda added to the Daily Mirror: ‘Tamsin had always loved horses and, for Christmas 2006, just before she was six, kept saying she wanted a rocking horse.’

When Steve and Amanda gave Tasmin the rocking horse as a Christmas present, they recalled how excited she was to receive it.

According to her dad ‘she ran in and grabbed it’.

The experts worked hard to restore Gallopina (Picture: BBC/Ricochet/Kenny Valaydon)A year after receiving Gallopina, Tasmin became very ill. One day she suffered a bad headache and within a week she couldn’t walk in a straight line.

After taking their daughter to the hospital, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which was inoperable.

‘We knew from that day she was going to die and it would be a matter of months. She gradually got worse,’ Steve added.

Tasmin soon went into a hospice and she sadly died two days after Christmas in 2008.

During tonight’s instalment, viewers will see how soft toy experts Julie Tatchell and Amanda Middleditch worked on Gallopina to restore her soft coat, tail and mane.

While Suzie Fletcher crafted a new leather saddle for the rocking horse.

Tissues at the ready, it’s going to be an emotional one.

The Repair Shop at Christmas airs today on BBC1 at 6.45pm.

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