about the piece.
Our son Freddie, our fifth child, was born on April 2nd 2010. After failing to breathe at birth, he was rushed to SCBU, where he lived for 11 days. He made good progress at times and his carers were baffled by him in many ways. Although he suffered fits and was clearly going to have considerable needs, he seemed to be making progress in the latter part of his life when he woke up for periods of time, looked around and started trying to make noises. Just as we were beginning to have a little hope, he suddenly contracted pneumonia and faded drastically before our eyes. Within 36 hours of him first starting to take notice of the world, he was back on oxygen and then suffered a complete collapse. After 18 hours on CPAP support, we had to choose whether or not to ventilate him fully or not as he had reached a point of complete exhaustion and was not responding either to us or to the antibiotics. Our decision was to withdraw oxygen and see if he made any attempt to try to hang on to life.
He didn't and died in my arms aged 11 days old on the 13th April 2010.
In the year since his birth, through a year of supporting our 4 daughters come to terms with the loss of their brother and through a year of fruitless trying to conceive, I have spent a lot of time making things, either knittings squares to count off the weeks since he lived or making pictures and models with polymer clay. Trees are very important to me as a way of remembering Freddie in my mind and I have made a large number of them. Mostly recently I've been sculpting dragons. One of my daughters, Josie, who at 5 had to come to terms with being briefly a big sister and then going back to being the youngest in the family again, asked me to make a model based on Haku, the dragon from Spirited Away - and this picture came from that, a dragon born to fly above our family tree of life. It is a picture filled with secret numbers too, all the different ways I count the people in my family, both missing and here. - Merry
about the artist.
Merry writes at a Patch of Puddles. Merry also began a fund to support the Special Care Baby Unit which cared for Freddie.
Remembering Freddie today on his first birthday.
Holding Merry and her family in our hearts as they remember.