Arthur was christened at just two days old after doctors told his parents Nick and Alison to expect the worst.

But Arthur proved to be a little fighter and Nick and Alison were able to take him home to meet his two older sisters Mia and Katie. There followed a wonderful two years with the family enjoying so many happy times together, centred around their love of music and fun.

But when he was just two and a half years old Arthur was taken ill again. He was admitted to hospital and suddenly died.

"After Arthur died we had to leave him in the hospital mortuary," says Alison.

"I used to get up at four in the morning and search for Arthur even though I knew he wasn’t there. That was hard. It was a dark time."

Thankfully, on this occasion, Hope House was able to help and Arthur’s body was taken to their Snowflake Suite, a temperature controlled bedroom with its own private lounge and garden. It’s the only place in Shropshire where families can say goodbye in their own time and in their own way while being supported by specialist nurses, carers and counsellors.

We felt in control

Nick explains: "It’s not what I had expected at all. It was like walking into your child’s room and there he was asleep. When Arthur died, I couldn’t hold his hand as it had become stiff. The first thing I did when I walked into Snowflake was to hold his hand. It was so soft."

Says Alison: "Hope House helped us feel in control, we were able to put him in his coffin with his favourite toys. I could get him ready which, for a mum, is really important. We could do that for Arthur."

After the funeral, Nick and Alison continued to be supported by the counselling team and Mia and Katie also found comfort by spending time with Mary and Sheri, Hope House’s specialists in providing support to brothers and sisters of children who are seriously ill or who have died. Three years on, Hope House continue to be there for the whole family and will be for as long as needed.

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