Monday, 4 July 2011

Heartbreak for the Happy House

It is with deepest sorrow that I have to share the heartbreaking news that three-day-old baby Joseph died in hospital yesterday afternoon.
Mama Sue, Papa Dave, Uncle Billy, and all the adult members of our family who were so looking forward to welcoming the little foundling into our family later this week are devastated.
Sue was in tears when she telephoned to tell me.  She had thought he had just minor breathing difficulties after being found abandoned, by the roadside, in the early hours of Friday morning. Newborn, he was full term, looked strong and a good weight of 2.5kg,  so everyone felt confident he would be home in a few days.
Despite having size and weight in his favour, oxygen and the correct intravenous antibiotic treatment, the beautiful little boy couldn't fight off the infection and died, of suspected pneumonia, yesterday afternoon.
Sue now thinks he may have been left out longer than they thought and on a particularly cold night.
If there can be any blessings at a time like this they are that although abandoned at birth he did get to experience the love of a family, our family, both at Happy House, and from of all those of us in the wider world whose lives he touched,  if only for the most fleeting of moments.
Also, he died with a name, chosen with care and bestowed with great affection. As I told you on Saturday, Sue called him Joseph because it was the name of social worker Billy's late father and wanted to honour  the unerring devotion, loyalty and love our Billy shows towards our children. He was deeply touched by this gesture and had already forged a real bond with our new baby so this loss will be even harder for him to bear.
Thankfully, our children, who have already experienced so much loss in their lives, had not yet been told about their new brother and are thus shielded from this heartbreak.
Our love, prayers and thoughts today go out to baby Joseph, Sue, Billy and all the family.
Look at me, Mama
Our tragedy of baby Joseph, makes even more remarkable the survival of our Harry, who had every one of the odds stacked against him when , a newborn, he was found abandoned on a rubbish tip a year ago.
In a country where 52 babies in every 1,000 die before they reach a year old, he truly is a miracle.
He was such a fragile wisp of life, less than 1.5kg, eight weeks premature and so, so, poorly, and yet, thank God, he battled through and is a source of great joy to all his family.
Sue tells me she was busy talking to a visitor on Saturday when she felt something catch her skirt, the gentle catch soon became a real tugging ... it was Harry.
He'd toddled up, silently, behind her in his baby walker and was determined to make his presence felt!
"He was beaming up at me those big eyes and delicious smile as if to say, look at me Mama, I'm here!"