5-yr-old brother carries baby sister’s coffin to say goodbye the last time.

Nothing is more genuine than a big brother’s affection for his loving young sister. This heartbreaking love tale of a brother struggling to keep his infant sister in his life is an encouraging message of what genuine love truly means…

Meagan and Laurence Collard resided in Western Australia with their two lovely boys, Franklin and Cayden, and had the picture-perfect existence. However, the pair hoped for a baby girl to round out their family. They thought their dream had finally come true when Meagan became pregnant and learned she was expecting a girl. Not only were the parents happy, but their boys Franklin and Cayden were as well, with the possibility of turning big brothers to a newborn girl. The family was in full nesting mode, shopping for pink garments and preparing a lovely nursery for the coming of their angel. The parents called their newborn Piper Winifred after she was born. Piper was welcomed into a family that was loaded with only love for her. Piper reached every developmental milestone that a newborn should reach at a typical rate.

Piper began vomiting, prompting her parents to take her to a gastroenterologist. When the vomiting escalated into a fever, they went to see a doctor as well. Piper was first diagnosed with an ear infection and treated with medicine. A month later, though, an identical incident occurred. Meagan, on the other hand, was more terrified this time because of what she had uncovered. Meagan was concerned after discovering a firm bump on Piper’s tummy. When she took Piper to the doctor this time, both the mother and the expert agreed that Piper’s liver appeared to be bloated and so opted to get some blood work done. 

Meagan was informed about the possibility of HIV, hepatitis, or cancer when her blood was sent to the lab by the medical personnel taking the samples. Meagan knew it couldn’t be the previous infections since she had tested negative for them throughout Piper’s pregnancy. However, the third option terrified Meagan. She was so concerned about the potential of her little girl getting cancer that she withheld the knowledge from the rest of her family in order not to concern them. The results confirmed Meagan’s greatest nightmare: Piper had neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a kind of cancer that most typically affects babies. It arises from immature nerve cells present in many regions of the body. Neuroblastoma most commonly originates in the cells of the adrenal glands. Every year, around 700-800 instances of neuroblastoma are recorded in the United States. Approximately 9 out of 10 of these instances are diagnosed before the kid reaches the age of five. Kids under the age of five are the most vulnerable to this form of cancer. It is extremely uncommon in older children. 

In a similar situation, Piper, who was 11 months old at the time, was revealed to be in stage four. Her cancer had migrated to her liver, lymph nodes, belly, chest cavity, and ovaries from her adrenal glands.Piper was found to be at high risk, so the family decided to begin chemotherapy right away. Piper appeared to be improving after five rounds of chemotherapy, surgery that included a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. Of course, that quantity of medication on a newborn resulted in terrible side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, mouth sores, and weight loss.

The parents were overburdened since they had to balance many responsibilities. From medical visits and stays to ensuring the well-being of their boys. Meagan recounts of her experience that she often missed out on important things with them, which was incredibly difficult at the time. Nobody wants to upset any of their children or regard one of them as more essential than the other, however Piper’s care was their top concern at the moment.

Piper’s stem cell transplant, which required her to be secluded from all for four weeks owing to a damaged immune system, was the most difficult aspect of anything. Piper had not been able to visit her loving and extremely concerned older brothers throughout that time. Piper was eventually released from the hospital, and she celebrated Christmas 2018 at home with her cherished family.

Yet, as the weeks went, it appeared that things were worse. Meagan became worried when her baby refused to walk because she was in pain, holding her little stomach in her hands and continuously using the word ‘ouch.’ Meagan couldn’t tolerate seeing her daughter in such distress and pleaded to physicians that something was amiss.

The physicians rejected the mother’s fears, claiming that Piper was just responding to irritation from earlier treatments. Finally, the physicians agreed to order certain tests. The latest tests confirmed the couple’s greatest fears: the cancer had spread. The Collards were enraged. They were aware that something was wrong, but it took them so long to persuade medical experts of the same. 

The couple decided that participating in an overseas medical study would be their greatest chance of saving Piper’s life. They were, however, turned down because Piper’s liver function was too poor to be included. The couple reassembled and agreed to proceed chemotherapy until Piper’s liver functioned better, at which point they would reapply for the medical study. 

Piper’s parents understood she was nearing the end when she was permitted to return home on June 17th, and they battled to express to their kids what this homecoming implied. Cayden was not convinced when his parents clarified to him that Piper will soon become an angel in heaven. To help his adored baby sister, the five-year-old persisted in seeing another doctor or creating a new soup dish. Yet, eventually, the brother realised there was nothing he could do, according to Meagan.

Piper awoke on June 20th looking different. The small girl was hungry and playing with her adored big brothers. However, just as fast as things began to improve, they began to deteriorate. Piper began vomiting blood that evening, prompting Meagan to phone the home nurse. When the nurse arrived, she immediately summoned a doctor, who evaluated Piper and recommended that she be given pain medication since there was nothing else they could do but relieve the small girl’s misery. Laurence went home after hearing the news and embraced his beloved child for the final time. Piper’s big brothers loved and embraced their baby sister for the final few beautiful moments. At 9:14 p.m. same night, Piper Winifred breathed her death. The funeral was held on July 1st, only a few weeks before Piper’s second birthday. Piper Winifred’s family and friends gathered to say their final goodbyes.

Meagan recounts the sad event with tears in her eyes. Cayden, who was only five years old, carried his loving baby sister’s casket. As he said his sad goodbyes, he ensured to hold her one last time. The love between big brother and tiny sister had never been more visible or sad to those who witnessed it. Piper Winifred’s tragic death brought the family closer together. Meagan says the family enjoys their lives more now and makes an effort to remember their little baby at all times.

Meagan has had an epiphany as a result of her sad loss: how little individuals know about neuroblastoma and how little funding is available for its study. From then on, the family has committed to spreading awareness about the sickness through a Facebook page devoted to Piper and her battle with the cancer. Fight like a Princess- Piper’s Neuroblastoma Battle has thousands of supporters on Facebook. The family provides information on the ailment, as well as facts of Piper’s battle with it, as well as fundraising for other kids facing the sickness.

A tragedy that might have frozen the family has made them even more sympathetic to the plight of others. The Collards are a lesson in sympathy, demonstrating that even in the face of heartbreaking loss, we can be a beacon of hope in the world.

Rest in peace little angel. 

Share this story of this little angel suffering from neuroblastoma and to spread awareness on it. 

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