When a little kid was told that he only had a few days to live, the only thing that was going through his head was that he wanted to live long enough to meet his newborn sister before he passed away. In spite of the challenges, he comforted his younger sibling by wrapping his loving arms around her and remaining by her side till he was unable to continue.
Rachel and Lee Cooper, who live in Bristol, United Kingdom, already had two kids, named Bailey and Riley, when they found out they were going to have a third child. The wonderful news arrived during a time that was extremely difficult for the entire family, particularly for Bailey, who is the older of the couple’s two sons.
The Cooper family saw a dramatic shift in their life in 2016, when their son, who was eight years old at the time, was given a diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It all started when he was sick during the summer, and after putting him through a battery of testing, his parents found out that he was already in Stage Three.
Soon after that, Bailey began his sessions of chemotherapy, and in February of 2017, he went into remission, which provided his parents with hope for the future of their son. Because his illness had healed to such a degree, he was allowed to go back to school in Patchway, Bristol, in addition to maintaining his regular doctor appointments and MRI screenings.
Bailey assured his parents that he would do all in his power to survive until his sister was born, despite the overwhelming chances against him.
Until the family went on their Easter vacation to a holiday park in Devon, everything was going swimmingly until Bailey’s dad, Lee, received a distressing phone call informing him that his son had relapsed and appeared exhausted and out of breath. The Coopers were informed that their son had a 70% chance of surviving as the chemotherapy treatment was restarted.
The Bristol family was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief in July of 2017, when they learned that their son’s cancer had gone into remission. Unfortunately, just one month later, in August, young Bailey had a recurrence for the second time, and his family found out that he didn’t have very much time left to live.
Around the same time, Rachel found out that she was pregnant, and when she and Lee told Bailey, he was overjoyed to hear the news. The Coopers saw that their little boy’s mood improved after hearing the joyful news, and that it provided him with something to look forward to – the arrival of his younger sister.
Even though it was a welcome relief for the Coopers to observe the improvement in their son’s condition, they continued to be anxious about his health and the gloomy prognosis that had turned their lives upside down. Bailey assured his parents that he would continue to battle tenaciously enough to survive till the birth of his sister, despite the odds. And he did.
Lee recalled: “He just managed to hang on, basically. How he did it, we don’t know.”
As soon as Bailey laid eyes on his younger sister, he fell head over heels in love with her and could not stop himself from smothering her with hugs and kisses. In spite of the fact that his health was deteriorating, he continued to sit in his chair while he sang to Millie while embracing and comforting her. Rachel stated that he even assisted her with feeding her, bathing her, and changing her diapers.
Then, at some point, he reached a point where he was so frail that he was unable to continue doing it. On December 24, 2017, Bailey, who was nine years old, went away while receiving hospice care. He had bravely and fiercely fought her illness for for 15 months. His family has stated that he organized his own funeral and requested that everyone attend in costume as his favorite superhero. Additionally, he said the following to his mother and father:
Then, at some point, he reached a point where he was so frail that he was unable to continue doing it. On December 24, 2017, Bailey, who was nine years old, went away while receiving hospice care. He had bravely and fiercely fought her illness for for 15 months. His family has stated that he planned for his own funeral and requested that everyone attend in costume as his favorite superhero. Additionally, he said the following to his mother and father:
“You’re only allowed to cry for 20 minutes. You have to take care of Riley and Millie.”
In response to his grandmother’s offer to step in and take his place so he could spend more time with his young sister and family, Bailey said, “That is really selfish, Nan. You have grandchildren to take care of.”
It was hard to see Rachel and Lee getting ready to say goodbye to their precious baby. They nevertheless pulled all their strength together and held young Bailey’s hand as he took his final breath. Lee recalled the last moments of his darling boy:
“Myself and Rachel sat by his bedside and we both knew it was time for him to go. We whispered in his ear, ‘It’s OK; we love you very much. You need to stop now. It’s time for you to go.’ At that moment he took his last breath and shed one tear.”
Because of how much their wonderful boy loved his younger brothers and was aware that he probably wouldn’t make it to Christmas, Rachel and Lee recounted, he chose presents that were more appropriate for Riley. The pair promised that although though Bailey was no longer with them, they would always remember him and tell Millie about her devoted older brother.