Arthur Mullis was christened at just two days old after doctors told his parents Nick and Alison to expect the worst.
“Arthur was a real fighter and against the odds he survived,came out of hospital and thrived,” recalls Nick.
Arthur returned with his parents and his two older sisters Mia,then 9, and Katie, 6, to their home in a small village just outside Shrewsbury where there was always plenty of music and fun.
But when he was just two years old Arthur 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.”
There are no words to express how utterly devastating it is to face life without the child you love.
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.
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.
Every week, three local families face the same heartbreak that Arthur’s family felt when their child dies. Tragically Hope House can currently only afford to help one.
Hope House cannot stop children like Arthur dying but with your help we can stop families suffering on their own.
Donate today to help us be here for local families like Arthur's when they need us most.
Register for the Hope House Lantern Walk in The Quarry, Shrewsbury on Saturday 25 November.
Join our lottery to help us reach every mum, dad, brother and sister who needs our support.
Your help is vital so that we can provide the care and support that our children, young people and families so desperately need. We must raise over £6.3 million every year to maintain our services and receive just one month's funding from statutory bodies.
We offer a range of services including respite and end-of-life care at our two hospices and/or within the family home, and support such as counselling and advocacy. Bereavement support is offered to all children, young people and family members for as long as is needed.