There are many ways in which people cope with lose of a loved one. Some grieve for extensive period of time, while some decide to celebrate the lives of their lost loved ones. But there are only handfuls of people who manage to do something that will keep the memories of their loved ones alive. Next time you visit a hospital’s NICU or baby ward and see a purple butterfly on carriages of some babies, you will remember the heart breaking reason behind the sign, which involves someone losing a loved one.
People behind the purple butterfly sign
Resident of United Kingdom, Millie Smith was elated to know that she was pregnant with a set of twins. The mother finally gave birth to two daughters Callie and Skye at the Kingston hospital. But the moment was bittersweet for the Millie and her partner Lewis Cann, as one of the baby had developed a life threatening illness in the womb known as anencephaly, a brain disorder in which the baby was missing skull bones, and brain parts like cerebrum and cerebellum, which never developed during the pregnancy. The doctors had advised them abort the baby as it was not supposed to survive a day outside the womb. But Millie saw that the baby fighting for survival and decided to give birth. But unfortunately, the baby passed away just three hours after birth. When she was visiting NICU to spend time with the baby that was dying, someone made a comment that the other baby was fortunate not to have twins and that triggered something in Millie. That was when she came up with the purple butterfly campaign.
Reason behind the purple butterfly
The purple butterfly campaign was started by Millie Smith, who had lost one of her twin daughter hours after the birth due to a disorder. A comment made by a person led her to start this campaign, by having staff placing a purple butterfly sticker on carriages of babies in NICU that were part of a set and had lost a sibling during or after birth. Millie Smith has also started a crowd funding site in name of her deceased daughter Skye, named as Skye’s Wish in order to support the families who are coping with loss of a child. Millie was placed in a special room after delivery with both her daughters as death of one was imminent and doctors wanted to give her time with her daughter. She was also supported by a midwife who helped her arrange a funeral for her child. Millie hopes to provide similar care for families who lose babies as part of twins or multiple birth.