Room 1

It’s very hard not to get hung up on dates and times in the aftermath of loss.

At exactly this time, exactly 4 months ago, we were having our boy christened and as we stood there, surrounded by the love of the Trevor Mann nurses, the realisation hit that they had done all they could for him and we would never bring him home.
.
Up until that point I’d still kept some hope alive for a miracle.
.
I was willing him to open his eyes.
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In my fantasy, all the alarms would sound. Staff would rush in,
“We don’t know how it’s happened. One of the machines wasn’t working properly. He’s going to be fine”.
.
I’m sure that any parent who has been inside Room 1 of the Trevor Mann Unit knows my fantasy. It feels like you are on the edge of a different Universe when you walk in there.
.
Room 1 is the scariest place on the face of this earth.
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It’s where you never, ever want to be. I hope none of you EVER have to go there. I thought I knew fear. I was wrong.
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Fear IS Room 1.
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I remember my friend Helen telling me a bit about Room 1 a few years ago. She said “Room 1 is where you don’t want to be”. Her daughter survived Room 1 and she knows the fear.
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It’s also a place filled with the most incredible love I have ever experienced.
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Julie and Chrissie.
.
I rarely use the word “angel”. It’s not my thing, but those ladies are two angels who spent more time with my son than I did. That they loved him is without doubt. I can’t even begin to describe the tenderness and caring that these ladies showed to Elijah. Julie came to me after her shift had ended, after she’d been with my son all night and gave me a piece of cloth
.
“I put this in the crib with him all night, so you’d have something that would smell of him” she said. She’d also collected up every single piece of wire that had been connected to him. Anything that had touched him, she’d saved it all for me. She said “I know you won’t have much to take away from here but at least you have something”.
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I don’t know how or where people like her are made. Truly amazing.
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I don’t remember much of the first time I went to Room 1. I remember running and collapsing outside the room, near the exit doors and Tim picking me up and carrying me back downstairs.
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I remember there were 3 other babies in that room with Elijah and I know at least one of those children didn’t make it home.
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I remember the silence the first time I walked in, as if everyone in that room knew what would happen the first time I saw him.
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I remember being surprised at the sheer amount of machines and wires everywhere.
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I remember thinking that Room 1 will probably change my life forever.
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4 months ago I entered Room 1 as a scared, desperate parent.
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4 months later, Room 1 has made me a person who approaches and thinks about life differently.
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I’m stronger, thanks to Room 1 and I also know true love thanks to Room 1.
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Hope and Fear and Room 1.
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I’ll never be the same again.
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