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Canuck Place Honours Short Lives

October 18, 2016

Oscar Longhurst was born on November 5, 2014. His life lasted less than two hours.

Before he was born, his parents, Jill and Peter, learned that Oscar had Trisomy 18. The majority of babies diagnosed with the syndrome die before birth.

“When your child is diagnosed with a life limiting condition, and you know there is no cure, it can feel pretty hopeless,” said Jill. “The care provided by Canuck Place reminded us that, no matter how uncertain the outcome or how short his life might be, our son mattered and he was worth looking after.”

The Canuck Place clinical team supported Jill and Peter as they came to terms with the fact that any time they had with their son would only be measured in minutes.

“Our first meeting was relaxed but thorough,” said Jill. “We had a lot of time to talk, be listened to, and have our questions answered. It was sad to talk about end-of-life care for a baby who wasn’t even born yet, but a relief to be able to talk openly and freely. They acknowledged him as a little person, showing real compassion and support.”

Oscar was born in the middle of the night, and Canuck Place staff were on hand to help the family capture footprints and handprints. The prints are now a cherished keepsake which the family can hold on to forever.

And while it was short, Oscar’s life was honoured and celebrated. “We will always love our little man,” said Jill. “His brief life continues to touch and enrich us in ways we could never have imagined.”

“The care, compassion, and understanding Canuck Place provides isn’t just an add-on, it is essential care for any child and family facing a life-limiting situation, and I hope that they can continue to provide it whenever a family might need it.”

The Longhurst family stays connected to Canuck Place with ongoing bereavement support, where they pay tribute to Oscar’s brief life through the sharing of words, emotions, and photos.

You can support families like this by donating to Canuck Place.

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