Ivy Morris was born in August 2016, and passed away at Bluebell Wood when she was just eight weeks old. Her mum and dad, Gary and Alana, tell the story of their beautiful little girl.

Alana said “My pregnancy with Ivy was completely fine, and we called her our third time lucky baby, as we’d had two miscarriages before. When she was born, everything was normal, we came home from hospital quickly and settled in to family life.”

“When I took Ivy for her routine six week check-up, the doctor measured her head, and it was off the chart. She couldn’t follow his finger either, so they asked us to come back a week later. By that time, Ivy’s head had grown 3cm and she wasn’t managing to keep any of her milk down. The doctor sent us straight to hospital, where she had a CT scan, and we were told the devastating news that she had a brain tumour. That moment was if someone had just pulled a chair out from under us.”

“We were told that Ivy needed surgery, and all our family came to the hospital to see her. All I could think was ‘this is what happens to other people, this doesn’t happen to us’. Ivy had surgery the next morning, which was the longest day ever. She came out of surgery at tea time, and they told us that they’d only been able to remove 80% of the tumour, and that they’d had to resuscitate her. She went into intensive care, and she was so pale, but she had her eyes open. That was the last time we saw her with her eyes open.”

Gary added, “Ivy kept having fits throughout the night, and the next day she was still very poorly. She wasn’t responding well to the anti-seizure medicine she was on. The doctors told us that it was very likely that the tumour would grow again, and if she ever did come round, she would be paralysed, blind, and deaf. She was too little for radiotherapy, and chemotherapy would have given us a few extra months with her, but would have been painful for her – it would have been for our gain and not Ivy’s. So we decided to turn her machines off, which was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do”.

Alana said, “We had accepted what was going to happen, and wanted to spend what little time we had left with Ivy being as normal as possible with her, making some of the memories that we should have with her in the years ahead. We turned off her machines, and she carried on breathing. It was then that our consultant suggested Bluebell Wood, as there we could be with her without any wires on her, and could hold her properly.”

Gary continued, “As soon as we got to Bluebell Wood, they settled us straight into a room. It was so nice to be able to see Ivy’s full face again, without any wires. She slept in between us on a pillow, and the next morning we put her in a pram, and went for a walk in the garden.  Both our best friends came to visit. Later that day, we laid down in bed with her, and she passed away peacefully, cuddled by us both.

“We bathed and dressed her, and took her down to the Forget Me Not suite, where we laid her in a cradle. We stayed one night with her, and then we went home, knowing she was in lovely surroundings, and that we could see her any time we wanted. Our parents came to see Ivy too. When we got home, there were still bottles in the sink, waiting to go in the steriliser, and all Ivy’s things around. We just put everything in her room and shut the door. It was just too hard for us to deal with.”

Alana added, “Without Bluebell Wood, I don’t know what we would have done. They’re still helping us now, with counselling. I can’t put a price on the support they’ve given us. It extends beyond us too, to the people who were closest to Ivy. The way Bluebell Wood helps people, at the worst time of their life, when they’re going through something nobody should have to go through, is amazing. It’s such a special place.”