Lach­lan’s mem­ory lives on in twin Lily

Brave mum’s fundraiser in tragic tot’s hon­our

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - Tara Fitz­patrick

An East Kil­bride mum says her tragic son’s spirit lives on in his mir­a­cle twin sis­ter af­ter they were born pre­ma­turely.

Brave Ch­eryl O’Don­nell de­liv­ered lit­tle Lily, left, and Lach­lan Fin­ni­gan at just 25 weeks. But af­ter a spir­ited fight, Lach­lan trag­i­cally died just five months later. In hon­our of World Pre­ma­tu­rity Day on Novem­ber 17, Ch­eryl is rais­ing funds for Wishaw Gen­eral’s neona­tal unit. “I can­not tell you just how sup­port­ive the neona­tal team at Wishaw is,” she said.

A young mum was dev­as­tated when a pre­ma­ture birth led to the death of one of her twins.

Ch­eryl O’Don­nell de­liv­ered lit­tle Lily and Lach­lan Fin­ni­gan at just 25 weeks af­ter she was re­ferred to Wishaw Gen­eral for spe­cial­ist treat­ment.

The 32-year-old had been di­ag­nosed with pre-eclamp­sia at 21 weeks and warned that she wouldn’t be able to carry to full term.

De­spite suc­cess­fully giv­ing birth to the twins, who weighed less than two pounds each, the tots were so pre­ma­ture that they faced a bat­tle to sur­vive.

Af­ter a brave fight, Lach­lan trag­i­cally died just five months later.

Ch­eryl said: “It was heart­break­ing. To­tally heart­break­ing.

“At the be­gin­ning it was ac­tu­ally Lily that me and my part­ner Gor­don were most wor­ried about be­cause she seemed to be suf­fer­ing from a lot of com­pli­ca­tions.

“But she just got stronger and stronger while Lach­lan didn’t.

“They both had to bat­tle through so much af­ter they were born and it was 100 days be­fore we were even able to hold them for the first time.”

Af­ter 15 weeks, Lily was well enough to go home but Lach­lan never gained the strength to leave hos­pi­tal. He passed away in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Ch­eryl said: “It was a re­ally hard time for us but the staff at Wishaw Gen­eral could not have been bet­ter.

“They helped us make some of the hard­est de­ci­sions imag­in­able when Lach­lan wasn’t re­spond­ing to treat­ments and we had to de­cide whether it was worth putting him through any more.

“Los­ing Lach­lan was ter­ri­ble but Lily is do­ing so well now be­cause of the care she re­ceived at Wishaw Gen­eral and she is keep­ing Lach­lan’s spirit alive.”

On Septem­ber 11, Ch­eryl and Gor­don, from Green­hills, re­leased bal­loons at Lach­lan’s grave in mem­ory of the tot and in cel­e­bra­tion of Lily’s first birth­day.

Ch­eryl said: “Orig­i­nally it was meant to be a small thing but we ac­tu­ally ended up with over 100 peo­ple there cel­e­brat­ing with us.

“We had a cake with Lach­lan and Lily’s names on it – it was gor­geous.”

In hon­our of World Pre­ma­tu­rity Day on Novem­ber 17, Ch­eryl is rais­ing funds for Wishaw’s neona­tal unit.

She is cur­rently train­ing to be a beauty ther­a­pist and plans to host a “pam­per day” at the hos­pi­tal on Fri­day for pa­tients and staff.

The beauty treat­ments, in­clud­ing mas­sages, man­i­cures and pedi­cures, will be free of charge with any do­na­tions made go­ing to­wards the hos­pi­tal.

She said: “I want to give a pam­per day to help the mums in the unit be­cause I know how hor­ri­ble it can be and how dif­fi­cult it is to be there.

“And I re­ally want to give back be­cause I can­not tell you just how sup­port­ive the neona­tal team at Wishaw is.”

Ch­eryl and Gor­don started a Face­book blog called A Pre­ma­ture Jour­ney to help keep a diary of the twins early months and raise aware­ness of pre­ma­ture births for other fam­i­lies.

The pam­per day is not the first time Ch­eryl has raised money for Wishaw’s neona­tal unit, hav­ing taken part in the Kilt Walk in April and rais­ing over £3000.

She said: “We smashed our tar­get and I’m so thank­ful to all our friends and fam­ily who do­nated.”

Tragic New­born Lach­lan

To­gether Mum Ch­eryl with Lily and, be­low, the birth­day cakes In­set Lit­tle Lach­lan who lost his fight for life

Kilt walk suc­cess Ch­eryl and Gor­don af­ter the Kilt Walk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.