Chat It’s Fate — August 2017

(Brent) #1

300 beaches (^00)
been on
name has
Rosie Jo’s
Baby Elsa:
Sadly missed
Mum support:
With Charlotte
As told to Angela Johnson / Michelle Rawlins Chat it’s fate 15
True life: Bond of grief
photos Michelle Rawlins
um Charlotte Mayor, 40, says: ‘My newborn Elsa
arrived in June 2014. Her older sister, Olivia,
then 2, was chuffed. But, at 9 months, Elsa was
diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 1, an
incurable disease. Children rarely live beyond 2.
Bonding with Joanne, I feel I can talk to her
about anything. I’ve since had a little boy, Noah,
now 5 months. Nothing can ever replace Elsa or
Rosie, but, together, Joanne and I are healing.
I know our angels are watching over us.’
‘United in grief’
her shot of dark hair.
Just as in my premonition.
Apart from her shorter
limbs and barrel-shaped chest,
she looked beautiful.
Rushed to neo-natal,
Jonathan sat with her while
I recovered. But, four hours
on, I joined them.
She was alert and I hoped
the doctors had been wrong.
Only, that night,
Rosie Jo deteriorated.
Her breathing laboured and
she was placed on oxygen.
Next day, we had
her baptised and Pippa came
to meet her sister for a cuddle.
Pippa was only 20 months,
and didn’t understand. So
during the pregnancy, we said
her sister would be poorly.
So rare
Rosie was diagnosed with
osteogenesis imperfecta
type II – a rare condition.
With little more doctors
could do, we made the hard
decision to remove her
ventilation. On borrowed time,
we cuddled, kissed
and loved her.
Than, just 28
hours old, Rosie
slipped away.
We had
a space at
Sheffield, so
spent 10 days
there visiting Rosie
Jo in a refrigerated
nursery, surrounded by
fairy lights. I wrapped her in
a white blanket, knitted by
my grandmother Elsie.
Inside her casket we placed
letters, angel wings and teddy
bears. We held her cremation
at Rotherham Crematorium
on 29 September.
Charity ball
That day, my cousin Sarah
was in Hastings and
couldn’t join us.
So she wrote Rosie Jo’s
name in stones on the beach
and snapped a photo.
When we or any friends
and family visit a beach,
Rosie’s name is written and
shared online. Incredibly,
word spread and Rosie Jo’s
appeared in sand in over 300
places around the world.
Then, in January 2016, we
attended a bereavement class
at Bluebell Wood Hospice.
There, we met Charlotte
Mayor, 40, who’d lost her little
girl Elsa at 10 months old. The
bond of grief brought us close.
Determined Rosie Jo’s life
would make a difference, that
February, I organised a ball to
raise money for the hospice.
We held another this
year and, in total we’ve
raised £22,500.
I’d seen
before, but
in March
2016, I
visited a
new one
for the
first time.
‘You’ve a
little girl in the
present, and one in
spirit,’ she said. ‘She’s
healed now. She’ll send you
three little birds.’
That afternoon, I went to
collect Pippa from my mother-
in-law Jayne, 59.
At hers, a little teapot
hangs outside the back door.
‘Three chicks!’ Pippa said.
Robins had made a nest in
the teapot, and inside were
three chicks. It filled my
heart with warmth.
On my hardest days, I often
see a white feather and I know
Rosie Jo’s still with us.
I’ll keep fundraising in her
memory. My dream showed
she was meant to be in this
world. Like all angels, it’s to
change it for the better.

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