Oscar Noah Cole was born, a laid back chap, two weeks late on February 6th 2013, weighing in at a healthy 9lbs 5oz.

He spent the 16 months of his short life smiling, laughing, more recently chattering and running around, whilst absorbing everything around him with his big brown eyes. He had begun to demonstrate some strong opinions and we knew we were in for challenging times ahead. Somehow we felt that he would probably get away with most of it due to his good nature and enjoyment of mischief. He liked to make jokes and make people laugh, from imitating sneezes to honking the noses of complete strangers.

Oscar would jump out of our arms at the door of his nursery in order to lean in for a big cuddle, before scanning the room for a table to sit at or a toy to bounce on. He made the most of his time at the hospital too. Tootling around the ward to say hello to anyone who would stop to chat. He charmed the nurses with his good manners, even stopping to catch his breath after a 2am blood test in order to say thank you and wave bye bye.

Oscar had been under the weather for a few weeks with frequent high temperatures and occasionally reluctant to walk or run around. After numerous trips to the GP he was admitted to hospital on Monday 2nd June and diagnosed with Osteomylitis in his spine; a rare but not life threatening condition. He was discharged on June 9th only to be readmitted again two days later having developed an infection in the picc line that had been inserted into his arm, that would have enabled him to receive his antibiotics at home.

Events took a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse on the night of Wednesday 18th June and he died of a massive brain injury, on Thursday 19th June. Months of investigation and analysis followed and finally at the beginning of this year we were able to understand what was most likely to have caused Oscar’s death. Essentially it was a combination of bad luck and bad timing with Oscar contracting Rotavirus during his treatment which in turn may have lead to Encephalitis, which is a very rare outcome.

Possibly our most cherished memory is the relationship that Oscar had with his big sister Holly. They adored each other. Nobody could make Oscar laugh like Holly could. Together they filled our house with happy chatter, music and dance. It only took a few notes for Oscar to jump to his feet and start turning in a circle to the beat of the music – his one and only move. The best thing is, we absolutely knew how very lucky we were.

More than three years since his death we continue to take strength from our family and friends and most of all from Holly and our youngest child, Barney (we also now have a fourth child on the way, due December 2017). Both of whom drag us out of bed each morning with a big smile, longing for a cuddle and to know what the day has in store.

We talk about Oscar every day and it is clear that Holly still misses him deeply. One evening, when she was not yet four years old she articulated how she, and the rest of us, felt. “I am sad Mummy. Even when I am happy and doing fun things I am sad. Even when it will be my birthday I will be sad.” That was over 3 years ago now and it still very much rings true.

Oscar is with us every day in our thoughts and our hearts. He is the driver behind everything that we now are and everything that we do. We miss so much being smothered by his kisses and cuddles. He was, and will remain, the sunshine in our life.

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