Our story started on the 8th of January 2016, the day my son Oliver was born.

My son was born at Queen’s Hospital, Essex.  Sadly, he became very unwell very soon after birth and was rushed to The Royal Brompton Hospital accompanied by his Daddy.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go due to recovery and as one of my other children was poorly.

My name is Laura, and this is Oliver's story.

Once I was able to attend The Royal Brompton, it was a shock.  We were not aware antenatally that Oliver was unwell.  The wires, the tubes, the machine noises, and the environment were all so surreal.  On entering PICU, I walked past a lady in the corridor who said “You’re here” with a caring smile. Little did I know then that she and her Joshua would be such a big part of my life and become my family.

In our bay opposite Oliver was a beautiful little boy, even under all the tubes and wires, his little chubby cheeks, Joshua.  I became very close to Sophie, very quickly.  We became our support – we laughed, we cried, and we sometimes got hysterical just trying to process our feelings.  One evening I was sitting next to Sophie, and we were chatting to little Joshie in his bed.  Sophie was taking pictures and Joshua suddenly smiled, his first smile, it was magical.  A smile that will never be forgotten, it lit up the room and could turn rock to gold.

I was also present at Joshua’s first cuddles, his first bath, his first outfit, his first time coming off his ventilator, his time having a bottle, and Sophie was there at Oliver’s firsts too.

It still makes me laugh when our boys found their little cries which sounded like little lambs, and when one would stop, the other started.  They definitely kept the nurses on their toes.  They were best friends forever from the very start.

I still remember the very first time Sophie let me give Joshie a cuddle, a memory I will treasure forever.
The boys always did things together – one would come off their ventilator and a few days later the other would too, one moved to the ward, a few days later so did the other, that went right through to rolling and sitting up.

Our very last time seeing baby Joshie was at a family event organised by The Brompton Fountain charity, where we visited Battersea Zoo. This is where one of my favourite photos of our boys was taken.

Joshua I still think of you every day and what you and Oliver would be getting up to.  You would be in big boy school now, and I can almost picture you standing next to your BFF.

Keep being Oliver’s butterfly, we know it’s you, you beautiful boy xxx

Never forgotten, always remembered, forever young, forever perfect, and always missed xxxx

Laura and Oliver's gallery