Oscar’s family had to make unthinkable decisions about their baby boy’s future before they’d even met him. They knew their time with Oscar would be cruelly short, so were determined to make the most of every moment. Mum Katy shares their story and explains how, with the help of Bluebell Wood, they made memories they’ll cherish forever:

Katy and Daniel were overjoyed to discover they had fallen pregnant with their third child, and after  their 12-week-scan were delighted to announce that a baby boy would be joining his two sisters, Maeva and Emmy. But over the next eight weeks, the family’s world was turned upside down with a series of earth-shattering revelations.

It was discovered Oscar had a congenital heart defect meaning he only had half a heart. He was also diagnosed with several other life-threatening conditions. The family were forced to make decisions about their unborn baby’s future that no expectant parent would ever want to make.

“These decisions were just a complete whirlwind and absolutely destroyed us emotionally,” said mum Katy.

“At that stage of my pregnancy I should have been getting very excited and organising a baby shower. But as much as I would’ve liked to have had one for Oscar, it didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”

Instead, determined that their baby boy’s life would make a difference, they raised thousands of pounds through an emotional and bittersweet fundraiser for the place they planned to spend their last moments together – Bluebell Wood.

Oscar was born in November 2020, but the severity of his condition proved too much for him, and within an hour, he’d breathed his last breath.

During this heartbreaking time, the family were supported at home by Bluebell Wood’s Community Team.

Katy said: “They were waiting for us at home when we returned from hospital with all the equipment set up.

“It was such a painful time, but so heartwarming and reassuring to have them on hand as soon as we  arrived. Without that support there’s no way we could have brought him home.

“To have that option at the worst time in your life - during a global pandemic - to be given the chance to make those precious memories that you’ll never get the chance to make again, was absolutely crucial to us.”

The family spent three days making memories with baby Oscar.

“He stayed in the cold cot that Bluebell Wood provided and his sisters were able to meet him.

"We were able to have our wider family there too to support us and pay their respects.

“Throughout that time we had bereavement support, sibling support and whatever else we needed.

“It made a huge difference to Oscar’s sister Emmy to have someone to take her away from the situation and help her feel normal, as any child should.

“The hospice’s team also brought a huge box for us to make memories;  hand and footprints and moulds, a little box of keepsakes and lots of information about the support the hospice could give. 

“We were even sent a memorial pebble in Oscar’s name which is now in the hospice’s Dragonfly garden - such a beautiful place to remember.

“It was the worst time of our lives, and without that support I don’t think we’d have been able to stay as uplifting and positive as we did for our other children.

“That’s why we’ll always support Bluebell Wood - I want Oscar’s life to make a difference to others going through what we went through.

“His life may have been short – but it mattered. Bluebell Wood gave him that.”