Our baby son died at 10.30pm – we asked the team to stop. Jamie had been bleeding and struggling for hours, he was not going to live.
Minutes before we had sat in a small room with his surgeon, who had Jamie’s blood on his clothes and his shoes, and his nurse and we had told them we needed to let Jamie go rather then get him onto life support so we could say our goodbyes.
My heart felt like it was being ripped from my chest and the desperation and panic I felt consumed me. But we sat and waited to be told that he was gone. We were not expecting any miracles, we knew he was going to die. His nurse cried when she came to tell us, his anaesthetist struggled to hold back his tears as he came to reassure us that Jamie had not felt a thing, that he was not aware. And his surgeon said words he was probably not meant to say, he said he was sorry the surgery hadn’t worked, he was sorry Jamie had died. The words and emotions of Jamie’s team will stay with me forever, they have been a comfort.
We had been asked if we wanted to be with Jamie in the operating theatre when he died. Neither of us felt able to do that, to see our tiny baby boy with tubes and blood was not a memory we wanted and I am grateful we agreed on that.
And then we waited to see him, I don’t remember how long it took but we were moved into a different room and we waited for Jamie’s nurse to bring him to us. When she entered with our boy, wrapped up like a sleeping baby, I screamed a noise I couldn’t make again. And then I got to cuddle my boy – he stayed wrapped up because the tubes needed to stay in his hands, in his body and in his neck and I didn’t want to see them. Instead I was able to stroke his hair, kiss his face and just cuddle him.
His lovely nurse wanted to know if we wanted to bath him and get him dressed. We didn’t. We wanted to remember his body from before the heart surgery but we trusted her to look after him. I wish we had been able to spend more time with him but I couldn’t see his body like that.
After saying our goodbyes, I don’t remember leaving the hospital, I don’t remember getting home. I’m fairly sure exhaustion took over for me and I slept for a few hours.
We were at the beach early, from sunrise we wandered and sat, cried and screamed on Longsands. It felt like the place to be before we went to see our girls to tell them their brother had died. I felt lost and heartbroken.