Arthur Mullis was christened at just two days old after doctors told his parents Nick and Alison to expect the worst. But he was a real fighter and against the odds he rallied and survived.
Nick and Alison took baby Arthur home to meet his new sisters and family life continued as normal with lots of fun and laughter. But when he was just two years old Arthur was admitted to hospital and suddenly died.
“After Arthur died we had to leave him in the hospital mortuary,” says Alison. “I used to get up at four in the morning and search for Arthur even though I knew he wasn’t there. That was hard. It was a dark time.”
Thankfully, on this occasion, Hope House was able to help and Arthur’s body was brought to our Snowflake Suite, a temperature controlled bedroom with its own private lounge and garden. It’s the only place locally where families can say goodbye to their child in their own time and in their own way while being supported by specialist nurses, carers and counsellors.
Nick explained: “It wasn’t what I expected at all. It was like walking into your child’s bedroom and there he was asleep. When Arthur died I couldn’t hold his hand as it had become stiff. The first thing I did when I walked into Snowflake was to hold his hand. It was so soft.”
Says Alison: “Hope House helped us feel in control, we were able to put him in his coffin with his favourite toys. I could get him ready for his funeral which, for a mum, is really important. We could do that for Arthur.”
After the funeral, Nick and Alison continued to be supported by the counselling team and Mia and Katie also found comfort by spending time with Mary and Sheri, Hope House’s specialists in providing support to brothers and sisters of children who are seriously ill or who have died.
Three years on, Hope House continue to be there for the whole family and will be for as long as needed.
Every week, three local families face the same heartbreak that Arthur’s family felt when their child dies. Tragically Hope House can currently only afford to help one.
Hope House cannot stop children like Arthur dying but your donations can stop families suffering on their own.
When your child is diagnosed with an incurable condition your heart breaks and your world falls apart. When your child dies suddenly something dies in you too.
Facing that journey on your own is terrifying. You feel so alone. Without Hope House Children's Hospices you struggle on often isolated in your pain and grief. We must help.
Every week three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies. Tragically Hope House can only afford to help one.
Hope House Children's Hospices cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own. When they are facing the most devastating loss of their lives we must be there. We must reach every child mum dad sister and brother who need us.
Pain beyond words needs support without limits.