Finlay’s family faced the unthinkable prospect of their little boy’s first day being his last. But their courageous ‘little miracle’ had other ideas, and has been defying the odds ever since. Mums Abbie and Lisa share how Finlay spreads sunshine and melts hearts wherever he goes.

“His low heart rate meant that Finlay was delivered by an emergency C-section at 34 weeks,” said Lisa. 

“They were struggling to ventilate him and thought he might not survive the night. It was horrible.

“I can just remember pacing the room and crying. The only person I told, and made her promise not to tell  anyone, was my mum.”

Tenacious Finlay pulled through, but the emotional rollercoaster for his family was only just beginning.

“The doctors said it could be a syndrome, and after looking on the internet I just hoped and prayed that it wasn’t Edwards’ syndrome.”

A week later, Abbie and Lisa were called in for a conversation which confirmed their worst fears.

“They told us he had had Edwards’ syndrome. The majority of children with Edwards’ don’t survive, so we thought it was game over.

“Over the following weekend, we looked through all the lovely things we’d been bought and thought, he’s never going to get to wear them or play with them. It was just heartbreaking.”

But Finlay, who was diagnosed with the potentially less severe ‘mosaic’ Edwards’ Syndrome, battled on.

Thirteen anxious weeks later, Finlay was finally able to see his family home for the first time.

The following year was exhausting for the family, with their baby boy being taken ill on numerous occasions with bronchitis and other bugs.

Worn down by juggling Finlay’s complex 24/7 care alongside their full-time jobs, Abbie and Lisa decided to seek help.

“The idea that Bluebell Wood is a hospice really scared us. I’ve seen relatives dying in a hospice – and we said he’s not going to die, he doesn’t need it.

“But we were so, so tired and both working full-time, on opposite shifts.

“So we decided to start having short breaks at home, where a member of the care team visits for support, and it was fantastic.

“Eventually she persuaded us to come and visit the hospice itself for an overnight stay to get a proper night’s  sleep. So that’s what we did. It was amazing - absolutely phenomenal.” 

Since then, the hospice has become their number one destination.

“Finlay’s the most adorable cheeky chap. Everybody who meets him falls in love and he thrives on the attention.

“The staff at Bluebell Wood understand this and make it perfect for him. When you’ve got a child that isn’t verbal, you have to understand them to take care of them, and they do that incredibly well.

“I think Finlay would say that the hospice is a happy place where they look after me, and they always know what I want. From a parent’s perspective, it’s what you want and what you need.”

Now after a challenging year where Lisa, who works in a rehabilitation centre, had to spend long stretches away from her family to keep them safe during lockdown, Finlay is helping them to look forward.

“He’s just sunshine – he’s exactly what you need in times like this."

“Before the pandemic he was walking using his walking frame, could manage tiny steps and almost kick a football.

“But because he’s had so much time and attention in lockdown he can now do almost everything.

“At his first appointment after lockdown, the doctor couldn’t believe it. He’s our little miracle.”


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