Two Little Angels: Remembering Skye

When Millie Smith and Lewis Cann found out they were going to be parents, they couldn’t contain their joy. With twins running in their family, Millie’s motherly intuition told her that she was carrying two babies. And she was right! The ultrasound confirmed that they were expecting twins. However, their excitement was overshadowed by the devastating news that one of their daughters had a rare and fatal disorder called anencephaly.

Anencephaly is a condition that affects the development of the fetal nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. The doctors informed Millie and Lewis that their precious little one had only a few minutes or hours to live. Despite the heartache, they wanted their daughter to have a name before saying goodbye. They chose the name Skye, symbolizing a place where she would forever reside in their hearts, a reminder they could find in the sky above.

The moment Skye came into the world at just thirty weeks, Millie and Lewis cherished every precious second they had with her. They held her close as she peacefully passed away in their arms. This was the most heart-wrenching moment of their lives, but they were proud that Skye had fought for as long as she did to be with them.

Although their time with Skye was short, her impact on Millie and Lewis was profound. However, as time went on, they noticed that no one really talked about Skye anymore. Millie felt as though her baby had been forgotten, and that made her angry. It seemed like everyone around them had moved on, oblivious to their pain.

Months after Skye’s passing, while their other baby Callie was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Millie encountered a mother who, unknowingly, made a comment about how lucky Millie was for not having twins. This innocent comment struck a nerve. Millie fled the room in tears, unable to bring herself to explain the heartbreaking reality. It was in that moment that she had a brilliant idea.

Millie decided to create stickers to be placed on the incubators of multiples, indicating the loss of one or more babies. She chose purple butterflies as the symbol, representing the babies that flew away. The color purple was perfect because it works for both boys and girls. This simple sticker became a powerful way to acknowledge and remember the little angels who couldn’t stay.

What started as a personal initiative has now grown into The Skye High Foundation, dedicated to supporting the purple butterfly initiative. This foundation has spread the idea to hospitals around the world, providing comfort and understanding to families who have experienced the loss of a child. The purple butterfly merchandise, including gifts and accessories, helps raise awareness and funds for this important cause.

Millie acknowledges that she can’t prevent these heart-wrenching situations from happening, but she believes that support groups and initiatives like the purple butterfly stickers can make a difference. The grieving process is undoubtedly one of the hardest things anyone can go through, but together, we can offer solace and support to those who have experienced such unimaginable loss.

Today, Millie and Lewis’s other daughter, Callie, is seven years old, a constant reminder of the love and strength that exists, even in the face of unimaginable pain. Skye may be gone, but her memory lives on, fluttering in the hearts of those who carry the purple butterfly in her honor.