Our baby boy James William Shaw was born on 21st September 2016. Three minutes later his twin sister Isabel followed: two beautiful new siblings for our 18-month-old daughter Alexa.
Jimmy really was exceptionally handsome. He had a full head of auburn hair with a highlight streak of blond on his crown, which had seemingly already undergone a designer haircut. Nurses nicknamed him ‘One Direction’.
We took James and Isabel home, and couldn't be happier. Both twins were thriving and we were excitedly looking forward to our future together
as a family of five.
At just five-and-a-half-weeks old, however, our little Jimmy became unexpectedly and desperately unwell. Tests showed the most likely cause was sepsis (an overwhelming infection) and a complicating blood clot to his bowel.
Despite the heroic efforts of hospital staff, the Children's Acute Transfer Service (CATS) ambulance team and ultimately Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Intensive Care Unit - including emergency gastrointestinal surgery - Jimmy could not be saved.
He died in our arms on the evening of 31st October, covered in the kisses of his mummy and daddy who told him how loved he was. It is beyond words how traumatised we felt after those two days of seeing Jimmy so poorly, and how bereft his death left us. Our hearts were truly broken.
Three weeks after Jimmy died, and just two days after we had buried him, his twin sister Izzy suddenly became unwell from an unrelated condition (a diaphragmatic hernia). We were just seemingly that unlucky.
Within 24 hours, Izzy was undergoing life-or-death gastrointestinal surgery at GOSH. Going through this for a second time felt like nothing short of torture. We genuinely believed we were going to lose another child that day.
To our overwhelming relief, however, Izzy’s operation was successful. Our joy was only mitigated by the terrible sadness that James wasn't there to share it with us.
To help repay some of our incalculable debt, we set up the Little Jimmy Brighter Future Fund in honour and memory of our son...