Hugo was funny, chubby and a life force who was just starting to speak words and show his family what a determined character he was.
His Mummy Eva and Daddy Simon were planning to take him on day trips over the upcoming Easter break in April '14 and spend some family time with him. He was also expecting grandmum and granddad and uncles to be arriving soon from Hong Kong so that both sets of family would be sharing a wonderful time as a whole family.
He fell ill feeling lethargic, feverish and unable to hold down food and we took him to A&E a couple of times, the second time he stayed at Epsom Hospital for a few days. Hugo deteriorated rapidly in a short space of time and was moved to intensive care at Kings College Hospital after 3 days.
His parents and grandparents and big brother Jasper stayed at his bedside everyday, reading him stories and cleansing him and holding his little hands and chubby feet.
His condition worsened so much that he was given only days to live but Hugo held out just long enough for grandmum and grandad and uncles from Eva's side of the family to arrive from Hong Kong, who had booked flights immediately upon hearing of the news. They arrived at 7am at the hospital and he died at 12.52pm on the 10th April 2014, on the day that he turned 20 months old.
Hugo's death was unexpected, transforming our lives and our perception of everything that we hold dear. We will never live the same way again without him and we are slowly learning to accept that we must suffer our loss forever. Numb with grief and in disbelief that our loving little boy is no longer with us, Simon and I decided to raise awareness of this potentially fatal disease and in Hugo's memory we set up this Just Giving website to raise funds for the MeningitisNow charity. We asked friends and family to consider donations rather than teddies or flowers of sympathy. We hope Hugo can feel proud that he can help to do good even though he is not here in person but in spirit.
One of the hardest things that we had to experience was to face our social community with this news. We wanted to shut ourselves in. There is no preparation to deal with this devastating scenario and at times it still feels surreal. We had to find ways to cope and ways to engage people. Fundraising was a natural and healing outlet but we developed a spontaneous passion for positivity which led to Hugo's Celebration of Life Day.
We decided to follow our hearts on what we wanted the day to achieve, guided not by tradition but by the principle that if Hugo were there what would he enjoy, what would make him laugh. The Celebration of Life Day was held on the 4th May 2014 at the Nonsuch Mansion. It was an amazing day to remember our beautiful baby boy with lots of family present, friends of Hugo and his brother Jasper, our work colleagues and Hugo's nursery careers and Waterbabies swim teachers and swim buddies. We made sure that Hugo's presence was ubiquitous with his photographs, movies and sounds throughout the mansion. We sourced soft play toys, lawn games, kites and Hugo's Nursery carers even setup an arts and crafts station for the kids. Of course it was extremely emotional talking face to face with our community for the first time since Hugo died, however seeing lots of friends and their children playing in the beautiful mansion gardens deeply settled Simon and I and we felt that we could move on with our lives a little better.
Hugo had a private and peaceful funeral service in the following week surrounded by all his immediate family. As parents still grieving for the death of our young child, we want to ensure his memories lives on, so we also set up a Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/forhugoforlife ) to record our memories of Hugo and to help us document our pain and emotions and to help Jasper through his grieving for his dearest little brother. We feel that it will be a cathartic experience to be open about our feelings of Hugo and possibly it could also help others who are also grieving a death of a young child.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Please help Hugo's cause in eradicating this vile disease and help fund support groups for other families in bereavement. Please donate generously to MeningitisNow.
We are missing our huge Dragon baby so much and your sweet kisses.