There can be no pain so great, no despair so real, no blow felt so hard as that of losing a child.
When we become parents, our priorities in life change completely. All of a sudden things that were important before fade into insignificance. Our world revolves around the young soul we’ve created and as moms and dads we will do anything to protect that soul from harm or misery.
Sadly, that’s not always possible. Sometimes things happen that are completely out of our control; sometimes life can be cruel and unforgiving.
Tammy Ireson is a 39-year-old mother who lost her 13-week-old son, having wanted a baby for over 20 years. A cardiac arrest left her little one, Wilber, severely brain-damaged, and now she wants to use images of her grief to help other moms who have lost their babies.
As per the Daily Mail, Ireson has shared the moment she had to walk Wilber to his final goodbye. At just 13 weeks old, he suffered a cardiac arrest that signalled the end of his short life. Ireson wants to use the gut-wrenching picture to help others facing the same tragic situation.
“For the first time since Wilber‘s birth, I was able to take him for a walk,” Tammy said of the image. “But as I moved down the corridor with Wilber in my arms, I realised that was our first and last ever walk together and I broke down. That’s the moment Mark captured the picture of us.”
Ireson had been waiting for a baby for a long, long time. Her pregnancy with Wilber was a complicated one, but there was no way she was about to give up on him.
“After the 20-week scan when doctors first realized something was wrong, they asked me repeatedly if I wanted to terminate my pregnancy but I said no every time,” Ireson said, as per the Daily Mail.
“I loved him so much already and believed he deserved a shot at life. His prognosis looked poor but I also held onto hope that I’d be able to bring him home one day.”
Ireson underwent an emergency Caesarean section at 32 weeks after developing pre-eclampsia. Wilber had trouble breathing without assistance and couldn’t move his limbs much after the birth. He was diagnosed with RYR1 gene mutation, and his prognosis was worrying.
“We didn’t know if he’d make it through the first night but he pulled through. The nurses advised me not to disturb him with too much physical contact but I could tell my touch brought him comfort,” Ireson said.
“As the days went by, he grew stronger and like any new mum, I got to know my son. I sang to him, cuddled him, and cherished him.”
Ireson started an Instagram page to help other families with children facing similar battles.
“In the weeks since Wilber had arrived, we’d built a beautiful connection and I‘d gotten to know his strong personality. I’d waited years to give my daughter Zilanne a sibling and the life inside me felt so precious. The connection between us was strong from the start.”
Sadly, little Wilber was to suffer a cardiac arrest that left him brain-damaged. Medics did what they could to resuscitate him, but during the time it took to bring him back, irreparable injuries were caused.
“He did eventually come back but the moment he opened his eyes, I knew my little boy was gone,” Tammy said.
“His gaze was vacant and he no longer seemed to recognize me. Wilber didn’t respond to my touch anymore and it the connection between us vanished. I was devastated.”
After two weeks, it became evident that there was no way back. Tammy Ireson made the bitterly difficult decision to take her boy off of life support.
The picture of Tammy walking through the hall with Wilber was taken not long before he passed. It’s her hope that it can be used to lend support to other parents and show them they can “survive it and somehow find a way to get through each day.”
Ireson said: “‘I know the picture that recorded my distress so brutally might be upsetting for others to see, but I also know so many people who have experienced the same loss have found comfort knowing they are not the only ones who have felt this magnitude of grief.”
Rest in peace, baby Wilber. We hope you’re in a happy place now.
Life can be unpredictable and cruel in so many ways. Tomorrow is afforded to no one, and the cards can change in an instant.
Always be sure to cherish your loved ones and tell them you love them every day. Share this article to spread that message.