PURPLE BUTTERFLY LOSS PROJECT
While all families who suffer a pregnancy or infant loss experience extreme grief, the path of grief is less clear when there is a surviving baby or babies. These families are trying to cope with their grief while, at the same time, joyously welcoming new life into the world.
MBC was inspired by the story of Lewis Cann and Millie Smith and their twin daughters Callie and Skye of the UK. When Skye passed away shortly after birth and Callie was in the NICU, another mother of twins, seeing only one baby for this family, commented, "Well, at least you don't have twins." While this comment was hurtful, it also inspired Lewis and Millie to create a foundation in Skye's name, The Skye High Foundation. They set out to help recognize the survivors of a multiple-birth pregnancy and honour the co-multiple siblings that were lost.
With a similar goal in mind, we have created the Purple Butterfly Loss Project Support Package for hospitals across Canada to help them support families going through this heartrending experience. This package was created by volunteers at Multiple Births Canada in consultation with the PAIL (Pregnancy and Infant Loss) Network, Dr. Jon Barrett at Sunnybrook Women's Hospital, Lynda Haddon, Multiple Births Canada Loss specialist, families who have walked the path of having multiples and families who have lost one, more or all of their multiple-birth babies.
Heather McAuley, Chair of the Board and Director of Support Networks, at the launch of the project with one of the Purple Butterfly Loss packages.
“Parents not only lose a much-wanted child/children, they also lose a unique parenting experience and their survivor(s) lose a very special sibling. Parents find it distressing and demoralizing to re-explain their loss to hospital staff and visitors, which is why MBC is implementing the Purple Butterfly Loss project in Canada."
- Heather McAuley, MBC Director of Support Networks.
Madeleine Wylie, ambassador of the Purple Butterfly Loss Project in Canada, shares the story of her angel baby Felicity and twin sister Cassidy:
Special thanks to the Aviva Community Fund, without whose sponsorship this project would have been greatly diminished.