Mother tells of twin tragedy

WHEN Louise Chisholm found out she was pregnant with identical twins after being told she would never have children, it was the best day of her life.

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Louise with baby Jack
Louise with baby Jack

For the first 23 weeks she was on cloud-nine but her dream of a perfect future with her miracle tots Jack and Samuel rapidly descended into a living hell.

During a routine scan Louise, 29, found out her babies had twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a disease of the placenta which meant she could lose them unless she had an emergency procedure.

She was sent to a hospital in Birmingham to have complicated intrauterine laser surgery on the placenta because the operation isn't available in Scotland.

But a day after returning from England, Louise was taken to Glasgow's Princess Royal Hospital where she found out little Samuel had passed away, but she still had to carry him in her womb until Jack was born.

Convincing herself that doctors were wrong and that she still had two healthy babies was the only way she could cope with her horrific ordeal.

She carried her twins for another eight weeks until she went into labour on September 19 last year but only Jack sur-vived.

Jack was 3lb 7oz when he was born and he spent three months in ICU while his mum prepared a funeral service for his brother who weighed only 11oz.

Louise, from Cathkin, south east Glasgow, said: "I was in total shock. I kept false hope that both my boys would come out alive but it wasn't to be.

"When you give birth to two babies and one of them has passed away there is such a mix of emotions. I felt relief and happiness that Jack had survived but at the same time I was absolutely distraught at losing Samuel.

"I held Samuel in my arms for hours and had him baptised. He looked just like Jack, he was fully formed.

"I later found out that Samuel was the donor twin who kept his brother alive in the womb which is heartbreaking.

"When I look at Jack, I see his brother. I'll never get over losing him or stop wondering what he would be like had he survived.

"I know I'm lucky to have Jack. He is my wee miracle. I want to raise awareness of the condition because a lot of mums don't know about it."

But Louise's nightmare ordeal was far from over.

She arranged a funeral for baby Samuel at Daldowie on October 2, but was told by staff there were no ashes.

The distraught mum then pleaded with the crematorium to give her permission to lay a small memorial stone in the garden of remembrance next to where her great-gran Louise Currie's ashes were scattered but they refused.

Instead they told her she would have to buy a plot through a hire purchase scheme and a memorial from them.

Now she faces the prospect of placing her son's memorial stone in her back garden.

She said: "I can't believe that not only did they throw away my son's ashes and left me with nothing, they refuse to allow me a place where I can grieve for Samuel, somewhere I can take his brother to remember him.

"Instead, it looks like I don't have any option but to lay his memorial in the back garden. That's not what I wanted for my precious boy.

"I sent the crematorium an emotional two-page letter explaining why I wanted my son's tiny memorial stone placed alongside his great-gran's ashes but they sent me a cold reply telling me I would have to pay a fortune for one of their memorials and a plot.

"I think I have been treated disgracefully. They don't seem to care about the babies or their parents. It's shocking."

Glasgow City Council said it would be "impossible" for families to use the garden for memorials.

A spokesman said: "Every year, thousands of people choose to have the remains of their loved ones scattered at the garden of remembrance and it would quickly become impossible for families to use the garden if individual memorials were permitted.

"Staff will always be available to discuss with families how they can make use of the garden or arrange an appropriate memorial."

janice.burns@eveningtimes.co.uk

Families

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