Our wonderful Rosie was and is so loved. She'll always be our dream come true, our beautiful girl that we wish we could cuddle.
Our 'little scooter girl', loved zooming around outside, gardening with daddy, swimming with mummy and days out with her beloved cousin Ava. She adored snuggling on the sofa whilst having her milk and biscuit with her best friend and big brother, Adam, enjoyed picnics in the playroom and dancing in the living room. Rosie was indeed very happy and completely healthy until one sad night, out of the blue, she died in her sleep. We still don't know why. She was 2 years, 2 months and 13 days old and we miss her so much.
In December 2013, Christmas was coming, we’d been to see Santa, wrapped all the presents and were all so incredibly excited. Ava and Rosie had both asked for matching dolls houses from Father Christmas. On Sunday the 22nd we went to the zoo and let the children blow off steam, scooting & running around soft play. Rosie was full of fun that morning but was a bit quiet in the afternoon & we thought she was maybe slightly ‘off colour’, maybe a cold was looming - nothing out of the ordinary! After bed time, a story and cuddles, she went to sleep.
The next morning, with our lovely plans for the day running through my mind, I went to wake her. To my horror I found that Rosie, our sweet little girl, had died many hours ago. There was nothing we could do to even try and save her. My husband’s efforts at CPR were futile and the look on the kind paramedic’s face when she saw Rosie confirmed what we already knew, she was gone.
Rosie’s cause of death was Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). Like most parents, we had never heard of SUDC and we still find it hard to believe that perfectly healthy children of any age can die without warning. Astonishingly, very little is known about the possible causes of SUDC and thus there is a desperate need to increase awareness and support research.
Rosie lives on in all who love her and it has been heart-warming to receive such overwhelming support from so many. With the help of friends, family and the local community we have raised funds in her memory for The Lullaby Trust and The SUDC Foundation; two incredibly supportive organisations which strive to progress research and find answers. We have also raised funds for Rosie’s Rainbow Fund, a charity which kindly provided us with essential bereavement counselling.
Alongside partaking in charity rides, runs and walks we have established ‘Rosie’s Summer Scoots’; organising a wonderful annual children’s scooter-run in our village which Rosie would have loved. This has become a really special community event and a lovely way to honour Rosie.
Another extremely uplifting part of our journey has been to meet other SUDC parents who share our passion for understanding, and maybe one day preventing, SUDC. After meeting two other like-minded SUDC mothers, we co-founded a charity called SUDC UK in 2017. SUDC UK is very proud to operate as an affiliate of the SUDC Foundation, focusing on national education and raising awareness of SUDC, fundraising and research.
We desperately wish that Rosie could have opened her presents that Christmas, and could grow up as children should. It is heartbreaking to think of all she is missing out on. She will always be our gorgeous, affectionate girl, deeply loved by her extended family and friends. She lives on in our hearts and is spoken of and missed by us every day. We cherish seeing so much of her in Adam, her little sister Elin and baby brother Theo and, of course, we'd give anything for just one more cuddle. We are so very proud of our happy little girl and we hope that by donating our time and effort, and by sharing her story, Rosie’s legacy can help save children from SUDC in the future.
Nikki & Tom - Rosie’s mummy & daddy xx
Media sharing Rosie's story - https://www.jennithomas.com/podcasts/grieving-the-sudden-unexplained-death-of-rosie and https://sudc.org.uk/channel-5-news/