Lachlan’s memory lives on in twin Lily
Brave mum’s fundraiser in tragic tot’s honour
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