MP Guy Opperman ‘Devastated’ by Death of Twin Sonsby Laura Driver
Conservative MP, Guy Opperman, has written a moving tribute to his newborn twin sons who died last week in neonatal intensive care. Guy Opperman said his family were ‘shell shocked’ by the deaths of Teddy and Rafe last week and thanked the NHS for trying to save his children. He and his wife Flora are being supported by the Sands charity which helps families cope with the grief of stillbirth and baby loss. In a series of tweets, which included a quote of a Buddhist concept of the nature of life and death, the MP for Hexham, Northumberland, said Teddy ‘came and went from this world quickly and quietly’.
The pensions minister said the younger twin, Rafe, was not born until Tuesday 23 but died later that day in a NeoNatal ICU. He added: ‘Baby loss, and coping with grief, is very hard. Nothing we could do. Just a horrible tragedy. ‘We emerged from hospital a week ago shell shocked. We have taken some time out to recover. I am back at work part-time, but bear with me. We will come through this, but will always miss our boys. ‘The loss of our younger twin Rafe was particularly acute. He lived and died within a long day. But we treasure our time with him in Neonatal ICU. We were able to tell him of all our hopes and dreams for him, and our family; but he could not make it and died in Flora’s arms.’ He expressed the couple’s gratitude to the NHS doctors and nurses who tried to save the twins. The Sands charity said they will establish a ‘small fund to support research that will prevent other families from experiencing the same pain’.
Referring to the Buddhist concept of life and death being like a wave, Opperman said: ‘The Wave quote is a good description of this awful process and an acceptance of life passing. You never regret trying to have children. ‘Sometimes baby loss happens. We will never forget our boys. They will be with us always. Just sadly only in their spirit and their memory.’
Paying tribute to Teddy and Rafe today Conservative MP Jacob Young posted: ‘So so sorry for your loss Guy. Thoughts and prayers with you both.’
Newly-elected Tory MP Chris Clarkson added: ‘I’m so sorry to hear this Guy. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re both going through. God bless you both.’
Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk George Freeman added: ‘So so sorry to hear your tragic news, Guy. Deepest condolences and thoughts and prayers with you.’
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: ‘Guy there is nothing to say that could show the magnitude of sorrow. I hope you can feel us all across the house feeling for you and your family. Much love.’
Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron added: ‘I’m praying for you this morning Guy, much love.’