Ollie and Milo

A mum and dad holding their baby

“I held two of my babies in my arms as they passed away; two amazing little boys; two fighters.”

Their parents, Chelsea and Jordan, feel our hospice supported them through their darkest times.

Ollie and Milo McIntyre were born premature at 26 weeks. “After they were born, they were both taken to Intensive Care,” said Chelsea. “Jordan went to be with them straight away but I couldn’t as I was recovering from C-Section. It’s all a blur to me. I was trying to figure everything out and I was unaware they were so poorly.”

Chelsea was finally able to see her babies when they were four-hours-old. Ollie, who was 1lb 8oz, was in a special bag to help protect him from hypothermia. Milo, weighing just 1lb 6oz, was bruised head to toe and had Hypertension – raised blood pressure – and Sepsis.

“When we were walking away to get a drink, a nurse came running after us saying we needed to go back,” said Chelsea. “They said Milo wasn’t going to make it. This felt completely out of the blue; I was still waking up from the anaesthetic and it all felt like a dream. They took out his tube and I got to hold him. He passed away in my arms. I was terrified the same would happen to Ollie.”

But Chelsea and Jordan had to remain strong for Ollie, and their daughters Lillie Rose (five) and four-year-old Amelia Rose.

Jordan described it as a very lonely time. “I had dreams of what I was going to do with my boys. Seeing them in that way and losing one so suddenly after birth, it literally ripped my heart out and there was nothing I could do.

“We did get to spend time with Milo after he passed and managed to make three days’ worth of memories. And all of that time, Ollie was still fighting for his life. I didn’t really grieve with Milo until his funeral. That is when I realise what happened and the penny dropped for me.”

The family were told it would be a “rocky road” ahead as Ollie spent the next three months in hospital. Ollie had Hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid on the brain, as well as a bleed on his brain and he was suffering seizures.

He finally went home in May 2020 but was soon back in hospital. He had seven operations during a four-month period. A scan also showed he had suffered a stroke. Ollie spent his first Christmas and first birthday in hospital.

“Every time he went in to hospital, we thought, this is it.” said Jordan.

In February 2021, his parents recognised that Ollie could not fight for his life anymore. They also made the decision that our hospice would be the best place for the family.

“Rainbows brought the family together,” said Jordan. “It felt like they were a big family and we had been adopted in to the family. They took care of us. They are a total different kind of nurses; they are angels. They get to know each and every service user and they focus on every part of that family in every detail, it is unreal. You don’t have to think about anything. They did everything for us.”

Chelsea added: “Ollie got to swim for the first time in the Hydrotherapy Pool and the girls got to spend quality time with him. They loved it. They wouldn’t leave him alone they always wanted cuddles. The girls saw it as a holiday with their brother. When they see the Rainbows sign, they light up.”

Sadly, Ollie died at Rainbows, and just like Milo, he was in Chelsea’s arms with Jordan holding them both.

It is crazy how Rainbows has changed all of us. The day we left, I said we would raise money for Rainbows and that is what we will do.