A family whose baby died shortly after birth is helping to support others going through the same heartbreak.
Laura and Steve Yarlett’s baby boy Edison was born prematurely at 27 weeks and with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which meant his diaphragm was underdeveloped. Sadly, Edison died less than 24 hours later in Laura and Steve’s arms.
Laura, who is 35, said: “His death was without doubt the most heart-breaking thing we have ever experienced, however the second most was having to tell his older brother Conner who is only 11 years old, that Edison would not be coming home with us.
“Conner, like us, had been excited for Edison to be coming home and joining our family. He had been looking forward to making all those memories we can often take for granted. Although still only a child himself, he too had to grieve the loss of his brother and navigate a complex spectrum of emotion.”
The couple who also have a daughter Poppy, who was only 10 months old when Edison was born, had to find ways to support both siblings whilst also dealing with their own grief.
Steve, who is 43 and works as a linguist in the RAF, said: “Nobody wants to have to go online and look for resources to explain these things, but that is what we had to do, as although there were resources available in hospital for grieving parents, there seemed to be a lack of them aimed at siblings.
“So, we decided that we wanted to fill that gap by creating sibling support packs to help families in such painful circumstances.”
The couple have created packs to provide hospitals with resources to support families when they need it most. Each pack contains a bear and resources such as colouring pens and activity cards. There is also a range of books, which families can choose from to best support their individual circumstances.
Laura added: “Whilst we never want a family to be in a position where they need one of these packs, we hope that when they do it helps in some small way.”
Laura and Steve, who are from Waddington, have also been supported by their friends, family and the local community in fundraising for the packs and are planning to hold many more events.
Rachel Bond is a Specialist Bereavement Midwife who has supported the family. She said: “We are so grateful for the hard work that Laura and Steve have put in to provide these much needed packs, so selfless in a time of their own grief to think of other families.
“Laura and Steve have provided United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust with the means of offering support to children whose sibling has passed away through pregnancy loss or neonatal death. A concept that is hard for an adult to understand, let alone a child. Being able to explain this will now be made a whole lot easier by their thoughtful contribution. They have also given such a valuable legacy to Edison.”
You can find out more and donate towards the creation of more sibling support packs on the Edison’s Light Facebook page.