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A Life Lived in One Best Day

May 18, 2017

A best day is often made up of once-in-a-lifetime moments that touch and change us. No moments were more beautiful for Jill and Peter Longhurst than the two hours they spent with baby Oscar before he passed away in their arms.

Oscar was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 before he was born, a syndrome that’s fatal to most babies before birth. The Canuck Place clinical team knew the time Jill and Peter would have with baby Oscar would be measured in minutes. They made it their mission to make those few moments the very best ones possible for Jill, Peter and their family.

Oscar was born in the middle of the night and Canuck Place staff were there to help the family capture footprints and handprints, which are now a cherished keepsake the family will have forever.

“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,” says Jill. “They acknowledged him as a little person, showing real compassion and support.”

And while it was short, Oscar’s life was celebrated. He was held, talked to, and spent his life surrounded by family.

Leftover carrot cake was found, resulting in an impromptu chorus of “Happy Birthday”. The spontaneous birthday celebration became a favourite memory of Jill’s, truly turning their one day together into the Best Day.

“Oscar looked us in the eyes, and we had a strong sense he knew us,” says Jill. “He made it very clear that all he needed was to be held and loved. Oscar’s time with us was brief, but it was oh so rich. I look on that day and I smile, and remember the love. An entire life in a day, full of love and celebration. How can that be anything but the best day ever?”

What brief but beautiful moments have had a lasting impact on your life?

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