This is a charity set up in the name of Darcey Leigh Stephanie Williams, who tragically died on 1st February 2017 at 8.42am. It is so hard to ever understand how a baby or child can die and Darcey left behind a twin sister, her older sister, her mum & dad and lots of family and friends. Darcey was just nine and a half weeks old when she died suddenly and changed the lives of everyone that loved her forever. The lack of support for bereaved families and siblings when they experience their worst nightmare of losing a child is the reason behind Darcey’s Dream.
Darcey was born on the 25th November 2016 with her twin sister Layla-Grace. The twin pregnancy went well and the girls were delivered by a planned C-Section at 36 weeks. Darcey was born at at 3.55pm 6Ib 9oz and Layla-Grace was born at 3.57pm 5Ib 15oz.
Both twins were healthy weights and didn’t need to go in to special care. About four hours after the twins were born Darcey turned grey while she was being fed. The midwife scooped her up and took her away for about twenty minutes but she brought her back and just said it was a funny turn and she was ok now. We were discharged after 4 days. The twins were healthy babies, feeding well and gaining weight. They were part of a very close family and lived at home along with their older sister Emelia-Paige, who was 23 months old. The twins were inseparable from birth they did everything together.
Everything changed on the 1st February 2017 when Darcey stopped breathing in her sleep.
We discovered very quickly that there is very little support for bereaved families who have lost a child and and even less support for siblings.
We were given a memory box at the hospital, which was lovely but it focused on Darcey and her parents, here was nothing to incorporate her siblings in to the memories which we found really upsetting. So we came up with ways of including her siblingsso they have some keepsakes and things to remind them of Darcey.
After Darcey died we felt like we had no where to turn to – the support and the advice wasn’t quite right and we didn’t get know where to get any support with our children – how to explain to our two year old what had happened or how to comfort our other twin, who was extremely unsettled as she was so used to being with her sister. In the hardest and darkest times we had to support our other children through the loss of their sibling, we felt we had to be strong for them when our world was falling apart.
This is where Darcey’s Dream comes to life so that bereaved families and siblings don’t feel alone.
The Darcey’s Dream Charity…
- There is support and help for all family members parents and grandparents with a special focus on support for siblings. The support for siblings helps them deal with losing a sister or brother and helping them create memories with their sibling that has passed.
- We will support you on keeping a child’s memory alive and how to incorporate them in to their siblings lives. If the child that has died is your families first child there will be support on how to tell other siblings that may come about their brother or sister.
- There are a number of volunteers working for the charity including psychiatrists, counsellors, photographers and people to talk to who have been through the tragedy of losing a child.
- We also have specialist paid counsellors that have been specially selected to work with Darcey’s Dream and refer families to as they are very specialist in certain areas.
- We work closely with local businesses to provide distraction therapy for siblings. Providing siblings with free sessions in a variety of classes so that they can have an hour of some sort of normality a week when everything at home is very sad.
- The charity helps and supports families and siblings through bereavement and making lasting memories to keep a child’s memory alive.
- We hold information classes to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome.
- We are currently in the process of creating a memory box for hospitals so siblings can be included in the memories and we are developing keepsakes for siblings including bracelets to link siblings and books to tell the story of siblings.
- We provide breathing monitors to surviving multiples and rainbow babies free of charge to families.
- There is special support on losing a multiple as well providing support to families who lose one of their multiples.
Darcey’s Dream is a North East based charity supporting newly bereaved families and siblings. Most of our support, including memory boxes for siblings and counselling support, is North East based, however our advice and support is nationwide and keepsakes are available to purchase nationwide.
Petra Williams, Founder of Darcey’s Dream