Lucy Anne’s Story
By Íde O’Sullivan
Tiny footprints forever imprinted on our hearts
In April 2012, our hopes and dreams of another little baby came through. Baby Lucy Anne Murphy crept quietly and gently into our lives on the evening of April 24th. Weighing just a tiny four pounds, she was quickly rushed off to be entrusted to the care of the staff in the neo-natal unit, stopping briefly to meet her Mammy and Daddy. We will never forget that first glimpse. She was so tiny and so beautiful. Instantly, we knew that this was a very special little girl.
Like every parent, all of the hopes and dreams we had for our baby began the moment we discovered that we were expecting. We were full of excitement and anticipation; yet, suddenly, in that moment, we were gripped by fear. While the pregnancy had been monitored very carefully, and we knew that we expecting a small baby, nothing prepares you for seeing your tiny little baby being whisked off rather than placed in your arms for their first precious moments in this world. As Lucy was born by an emergency section, it would be some hours before we could see and hold her; we thought that moment would never come. It was frightening to see how tiny she was in her incubator, with so many tubes around her little bed, but once in our arms, we were overcome with love, joy and pride for how hard our little lady was fighting. She was a true little warrior, and over the coming days, she grew stronger each day. While she was making good progress, there was growing concern, however, when she took a turn and doctors discovered underlying conditions which caused her to weaken.
At just two weeks old, Baby Lucy was diagnosed with Edwards’ Syndrome. In the blink of an eye, our hopes and dreams for this beautiful little girl were shattered. Not knowing what the future would hold, thoughts quickly turned to little Lucy meeting her family, especially her big sister Emily. For a crazy moment, we thought it might be best for them not to meet and fall in love. How wrong were we? Emily already adored her baby sister, just like we did from the moment we knew we were expecting. Emily came and met her beautiful sister. She sang to her, helped care for her and took such pride in helping to feed Lucy and change her nappy. She had assumed her role as the older sister and took it very seriously. It was so precious to see our two beautiful little girls together. It was heartbreaking, however, to watch Emily depart to go home, leaving us behind in our new home of the neo-natal unit. There, Lucy was surrounded by love and care but, wanting her precious time with us to be filled with happy memories, we decided to bring our little girl home where we could be together as a family.
Leaving the wonderful care of the staff of the neo-natal unit at the University Maternity Hospital Limerick was a daunting task – we had no idea how long our little girl would live, one day, one week, one year…; however, we soon discovered that we were not alone, and that Lucy Beag would guide us on our journey. The wonderful support provided by family, friends, our GP, the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation and the nurses of the neo-natal unit ensured that our time at home with Lucy was happy and peaceful.
Lucy spent six beautiful weeks at home surrounded by her family. Lucy’s home was a happy home, where wonderful memories were created, memories that would last forever. At home, all of Lucy’s family spent precious time with her, especially her big sister, Emily. At home, we could be together as one unit, allowing all of our family to be involved. Surrounded by love, Lucy thrived, gazing and smiling happily as her big sister entertained her endlessly. No memory could be more beautiful than watching our two beautiful girls cuddled up together, smiling. And, this is how beautiful Lucy left this world at just nine weeks – wrapped in our arms, cuddled together on the couch at home, she grew her angel wings on June 26th 2012.
Baby Lucy may have been tiny, but the imprint which she has left on this world and on the hearts of the lives she touched is immeasurable. Our brave little warrior fought so hard to stay with us, defying all the odds to spend more time with us, smiling bravely all the way and guiding us throughout. We are so proud of our Lucy Beag and appreciate every single moment we had together. She brought so much love and happiness into our home. We may have held her hand for just a while but we will hold her in our hearts forever. She is never more than a thought or a prayer away from us. We will never forget her big bright eyes and her beautiful smile. Lucy, meaning light, will always be our guiding light and will be a part of our lives forever. We are grateful for all the wonderful memories and for all that she taught us. Her impact on our lives was enormous.
“Even the smallest of feet have the power to leave an everlasting footprint on the world.” Lucy’s imprint just gets bigger every day.
Íde, Jim, Emily and Anna Lucia Murphy (O’Sullivan)