Ipswich: Birthday balloon tribute to honour tragic tot Am�lie

ipswich: Releasing colourful balloons into the air, the parents of tiny Am�lie Lawrence paid tribute to their “special little munchkin” marking the first birthday she didn’t reach.

For nine precious days parents Sam Baxter and Chris Lawrence treasured their time with their first-born last August.

But after arriving ten days early, little Am�lie was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis – a condition which affected her intestines.

Transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for an operation, doctors discovered the condition – the result of immature digestive systems in premature babies – was too far advanced.

With one last cuddle, Am�lie passed away on August 23, 2011.

Her devastated parents were comforted and supported by the dedicated team at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) after Am�lie was transferred to an after life room at the Treehouse Hospice.

The care they received prompted the couple, who live in Woodbridge Road, to launch a fundraising drive for the team as well as premature baby charity BLISS.

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The couple joined by friends and family, gathered at The Millenium Cemetery in Tuddenham Road to release balloons at Am�lie’s grave.

Teacher Sam, 26, said: “She was perfect, her eyes would widen and light up whenever she heard Chris.

“We wanted to celebrate her birthday, we have got the 23rd to be sad and so we wanted to do something colourful to mark the day.

“It was a lovely day, full of mixed emotions. Chris has been my rock, he’s been amazing.”

And 30-year-old Chris, a support worker, added: “Losing Am�lie came as a hammer blow.

“The team at EACH were an amazing support without getting in our way. I don’t know what we would have done without them.

“Releasing the balloons was a lovely tribute.

“Sam has been amazing through all this. I want to thank all our friends and family for their support, it means an awful lot to us.”

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