Frankie Beresford never got to meet her baby brother, but his birth just 9-months after she passed away acted as a serendipitous distraction during the darkest days of her parents’ grief. The pain of losing a child can never be downplayed, and only those who have experienced it can tell you how excruciating it is.
Unplanned and unexpected, little Angus‘ arrival followed a horror ordeal for Brisbane-based Kate and Duncan Beresford, after their daughter, Frankie was diagnosed with Leukaemia in early 2016.
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Kate Beresford recounts:
“It’s just one of those mysteries that you very much just have to give over to the part of the world which we don’t understand – it’s just really serendipitous. He was very, very much a surprise.”
The news came in early December 2016, a little more than 4 weeks after Frankie died, and at a time when the family was trying to put back together the pieces of their world.
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She told further:
“We were about to head to our eldest daughter, Camilla’s end of year school concert, which I was a bit anxious about as it was the first time I would have seen a lot of people since the funeral. When my doctor called before we headed over to the school and told me I was pregnant, I just couldn’t believe it.”
“Just weeks shy of Frankie’s 3rd birthday, the doctors first thought her symptoms were indicative of pneumonia – before the truth came out that it was something far more sinister. You look back and it’s clear to see that all was maybe not well. As a lot of little kids do, she would come down with colds and viruses but generally, she was a pretty healthy kid.”
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When tests showed little Frankie had acute myeloid Leukaemia- the more serious of the disease’s two main strains- the family’s world was irrevocably altered forever.
“I think in the early days we were hopeful and I just put aside the statistics and thought this is so individual, whether these kids survive or not, I just put all my hope into her being one of the luckier ones and be able to fight it.”
The family was battling with accepting Frankie’s death when the news of her brother’s impending arrival was revealed to them on December 7; which was initially met with a hint of trepidation from the devastated parents.
On people’s assumption, Kate said:
“Throughout my pregnancy with Angus, I was obviously grieving my child and although, there was excitement about a little person coming along, I was terribly worried that I wouldn’t be able to parent him the same way I had with the girls. Fundamentally, I had just changed, both as a mother and as a person.”
Now, as the family prepare to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of their little girl’s death – Kate Beresford revealed Frankie’s absence is evidence even more since Angus’ arrival in August, 2017.
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“I often watch Camilla playing with Angus and I really feel the gap, I feel her absence more. I think some people might think, ‘well you had 2 children and now you’re back to 2’ and but we could have a dozen more children and it wouldn’t come close to replacing the one I’ve lost. Sometimes I think I miss her more now that Angus is here.”
Frankie passed away on November 4, 2016; in the arms of her devoted mom, and Angus was born in August, 2017.
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