2006 – 2007
Daniel entered the world on 21st March 2006, 12 days late but well worth the wait! From the beginning he filled our lives such joy. His adoring sister Sophie loved to give him his bottle and entertain him with singing and dancing. He was a gorgeous, smiley, outgoing boy who never made strange. He had big chocolate brown eyes, long eye lashes, the most gorgeous kissable soft skin and a smile that would melt your heart.
Although we only had Daniel for 15 months we managed to pack a lot in; 3 magical weeks in Summer ’06 in Kerry building sandcastles, paddling in the sea, visiting Fungi the dolphin and sitting on the beach with his cousins and Granny. Then there was his christening surrounded by everyone who loved him and Halloween when Daniel got to wear the cutest Superman outfit. Sophie’s 4th birthday in November is when Daniel starting crawling and he got himself everywhere! Christmas, our first and last with Daniel, was fantastic watching himself and Sophie’s excitement at opening lots of presents. We celebrated his 1st birthday in March relieved he was such a big healthy boy. In April, the four of us spent 4 memorable days in Disneyland Paris and although he was only a year old he got to go on so many of the rides, giving us some of our most treasured memories. Then in June, we all took off on a family holiday to Spain. However, we were only to share 4 precious days with him. He died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep on the fourth night aged just 15 months. The shock and trauma of putting our beautiful, healthy baby boy to bed and finding him cold in his cot at 2am will stay with us forever.
The three months that followed until Daniel’s condition was diagnosed was a living hell. We went away on holiday as a family of four and only three came home – How? Finally, Crumlin Hospital told us that Daniel had died from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle which would have been present from birth. He had never shown any signs of a heart condition before his sudden death, he had never had an antibiotic and he had a great appetite. He was one of the youngest cases of HOCM in Ireland.
If Daniel were here today he would be 23 months. What would he be doing now – saying mama, dada, Sophie perhaps? We have since discovered a lot about ourselves – we didn’t know we were capable of such complete and utter feelings of love for each other and Sophie. If only Daniel could be here to enjoy that love with us. Knowing him has enriched our lives forever and if given a choice not to have him at all or have that 15 months, even though the hurt and pain of losing him is sometimes more than we can bear, we would choose every time to have had that wonderful time.
In his all too short life, Daniel managed to have a profound effect on everyone he met – he has had a song and poem written in his memory. He will always be remembered by those who had the pleasure of knowing him and by his devoted extended family but especially by his Mum, Dad and sister.
Fiona & John