Owen Williams spent his last days at Bluebell Wood with his family around him. His mum and dad, Gary and Victoria, share the story of their beautiful baby boy.

Gary says “We found out at our 12 week scan that Owen had fluid on his neck, and something wasn’t right.  We were referred to Leeds for a heart scan, and at 20 weeks, the doctors told us that our baby’s heart tubes were narrow.  His heartbeat was irregular and missing a beat.

“They said there might be a chance of an operation shortly after his birth, which would mean he would live until he was 20.  But then, at 36 weeks, we got the devastating news that our baby’s heartbeat was dropping, and the doctors wouldn’t be able to operate on him when he was born, as he would be too unwell to survive the operation. Being told that our baby wouldn’t survive hit me like a tonne of bricks.  It felt like they’d ripped my heart out.

“After he was born on 26th August, we all came to Bluebell Wood straight away. As soon as we got there, we were made to feel so welcome. We moved into a room, where we could be close to Owen. While we were there we took him for walks in the beautiful gardens, and we had lots of photos taken together as a family.  I got to bath Owen, which was one of the things I wanted to do the most.  All our family came to visit us, and could be with us whenever we wanted. While we stayed there, everything was done for us, we were so well taken care of.”

Victoria added “All the staff at Bluebell Wood were just amazing; so helpful and friendly. I sat up with Owen watching Aladdin one night, and the night staff made sure we were both OK. Owen passed away just two days after we arrived at Bluebell Wood. We then moved into the Forget-me-not suite, which meant we could still be by his side until his funeral.  The staff were amazing, they helped us arrange his funeral, and made us casts of his hands, feet and fingerprints for a memory box we treasure. They even helped us to get funding for a headstone for him.

“We still go to Bluebell Wood’s annual Remembering Day every year. It’s a special event for families like us to remember their children.  Bluebell Wood is an incredibly supportive place, and meant so much to our family to be there.  For that short time, Bluebell was our home, and the only home Owen ever knew.”