Cow­boy’s heart­break to hap­pi­ness


Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - by James Phelps

COW­BOYS for­ward Glenn Hall and his wife Kylie are on a high fol­low­ing the birth of their daugh­ter In­di­ana last week. The birth was es­pe­cially emo­tional for the cou­ple af­ter their first child Lachlan was still­born in 2009. Glenn has spo­ken of the in­tense pain he felt over the loss of Lachlan and how he al­ways will be a part of their fam­ily.

GLENN Hall reached down and lifted baby Lachlan from his wife’s chest. With tears trick­ling down his cheek, he hugged his boy, his first­born child, and told him how much he loved him.

He kissed him on the fore­head and said: ‘‘ I love you Lachlan. I am proud to be your Dad.’’

Hall gen­tly placed his lit­tle boy in a blue tub. He washed away all the birth, all the muck, as he held back his hurt, anger and shock.

Sum­mon­ing courage be­yond be­lief, Hall gave his still­born son his first bath.

He washed him, dried him, and dressed him. And then he said good­bye. ‘‘ It didn’t mat­ter that he was still­born,’’ Hall said.

‘‘ He was my lit­tle boy and I wanted to do all those things for him. I wanted to show him how much I loved him.

‘‘ It was so hard to do but . . . I wanted to be a Dad and that was my job.’’

A tragedy only those who have lost chil­dren could ever un­der­stand, Lachlan died while still in his mother’s womb about three hours be­fore birth.

Kylie, Hall’s brave and re­mark­able wife, pushed lit­tle Lachlan from her body, know­ing she would never get to know the lit­tle boy she had been car­ry­ing for nine months.

Hall, a Manly player at the time, was in Mel­bourne pre­par­ing to play the Storm in the first fi­nals match of sea­son 2009 when he was de­liv­ered the news that made him col­lapse into a team­mate’s arms.

‘‘ We were just about to go to our fi­nal session be­fore the Mel­bourne semi-fi­nal,’’ Hall said.

‘‘ Kylie was at a breast-feed­ing class and had had some pains. She went in to get it checked was told the baby didn’t have a heart­beat. I was in a video session and she couldn’t get me on the phone. She called my trainer and he came in and got me. He said you have to ring your wife.

‘‘ I called think­ing it was go time. I was so ex­cited.

‘‘ But she just said there were some prob­lems and they couldn’t find the baby’s heart­beat. That the baby is gone.’’

Hall walked through the lobby of the ho­tel try­ing to hold him­self to­gether.

He didn’t know how to tell his team­mates what had just hap­pened.

‘‘ I went down the lift and be­gan walk­ing across the lobby but I col­lapsed,’’ Hall said.

‘‘ I think it was ( Manly play­ers) Glenn Ste­wart and An­thony Wat­mough that picked me up. They didn’t know what was go­ing on and I was a mess, shak­ing and cry­ing.

‘‘ Dessy ( Manly coach Des Hasler) came over and I mut­tered it out. I told them my baby had died.’’

‘‘ He . . . sat down with me for a while. Then he got me straight on a plane so I could be with Kylie.’’

Hall rushed to hos­pi­tal but missed the birth. His baby was ly­ing in his wife’s arms when he ar­rived.

‘‘ I had a plane ride to try and come to terms with it,’’ Hall said.

‘‘ I will never ever get over it. Even though we never got to take him home, we had a very spe­cial nine months with him.

‘‘ We were so pumped to have him. When Kylie fell preg­nant, I grabbed the lit­tle stick from the preg­nancy test and put it in an en­ve­lope so I could show it to my Mum.’’

Glenn and Kylie drew strength from the tragedy.

With their fam­ily and friends by their side, they buried lit­tle Lachlan and cel­e­brated his short life.

‘‘ We were des­per­ate to be par­ents and we were ( par­ents) dur­ing that time,’’ Hall said

‘‘ We know we did noth­ing wrong and it wasn’t our fault.

‘‘ There is noth­ing we could have done dif­fer­ently. We didn’t try and swal­low it and hide it away. We talked about it all the time and don’t run away from it.

‘‘ We have his ashes here with us now and we also keep lit­tle things around the house which are a con­stant re­minder of him.’’

It was this ex­tra­or­di­nary attitude and love that gave Glenn and Kylie the strength to try again.

To coura­geously fall preg­nant and cre­ate an­other lit­tle life.

‘‘ I s** t my­self when I found out,’’ Glenn said.

‘‘ Kylie snuck off and did the test in the mid­dle of the night and screamed out in joy when she saw the re­sult.

‘‘ We ap­proached the ( lat­est) preg­nancy the same way as we did with Lachlan.’’

Last week Hall, now play­ing with the Cow­boys af­ter a one-year stint in Eng­land with the Brad­ford Bulls, helped de­liver his sec­ond child, a beau­ti­ful, healthy girl the cou­ple named In­di­ana.

Again Hall bathed his baby, wash­ing her be­fore slip­ping her into a lit­tle jump suit. And then he cried. ‘‘ They were tears of joy,’’ Hall said.

‘‘ She is the most beau­ti­ful thing in the world. I did all the same things with her that I did with Lachlan but this time I got to take her home.’’

Noth­ing can or ever will re­place Lachlan but Glenn and Kylie’s love for their boy is ev­er­last­ing.

And al­though In­di­ana will never know her big brother she will hear about him ev­ery day.



DAD’S PRIDE AND JOY: North Queens­land Cow­boys for­ward Glenn Hall has en­dured the pain of los­ing his son but can cel­e­brate the ar­rival of his new­born baby daugh­ter, In­di­ana

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