Devastated parents capture their heartbreaking final moments with their precious baby boy.

In January, photographer James Day had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Nancy and Charlie McLean. He never expected to be back with the couple just two months later, photographing them as they tragically said goodbye to their dying seven-day-old baby boy Edison.

The Daily Mail reports, On Wednesday the 23rd of March, Mr Day received a phone call he never expected.

‘I received a call to say that Nancy and Charlie’s baby boy, Edison, wasn’t doing so well and they asked if I could make the drive up to Royal Randwick Women’s Hospital as they were going to have to say goodbye,’ he said on a blog post.

‘I got up there as quickly as I could and documented some of the family coming to visit. I started simply taking still images, but quickly realised that I’d need to quickly work out how to film (video) the moments that were unfolding in front of me.

‘The words that people were saying were just too powerful not to be recorded in some way.’

Mr Day then spent the day capturing each precious moment The McLeans spent with their newborn son Edison – each photo and piece of footage highlighting the immense love they and their family had for the beautiful little boy.

Edison was diagnosed with an extremely rare metabolic condition called non-ketotic hyperglycinaemia on the third day of his life.

james day 1

james day 2

The tiny newborn’s ventilator, which had been breathing for him, was turned off on the Wednesday and the couple said goodbye.

‘But our little fighter had other ideas. He resumed breathing for himself and gave us two more beautiful days where we were blessed enough to take him for a picnic at the beach and even bring him back home again for 24hrs of cuddle time in our own bed,’ the couple said in a tribute to their son.

‘Our angel left our world at 10:25pm on Day 7 [Good Friday]; three hours short of being a week old.’

The couple have said that while it’s ‘hard to find the positives in losing your child, Edison has taught us a beautiful lesson we need to share.’

‘Cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. Love them like this is the last moment you will ever have with them. Never wait.’

‘We only had seven days with our baby boy, but we take immense comfort out of the truth that in those seven days he knew only love… We spent those days laughing as much as possible. We made a promise to each other and to Edison to celebrate his life, not to waste any second we had with our baby boy while we still had him with us.’

Watch the tribute video below…

‘To look at our little angel and kiss his little button nose whilst we could, to smother him with cuddles whilst he was still with us. To be thankful for the present moment we can spend with him and not fearful of future ones without him. All he knew was love, and kiss attacks,’ they said.

‘Our love for each other has been the light in the darkest moments. No-one should ever have to say goodbye to their child, it is the cruellest demand on a parent, but our love for each other has given us the ladder to climb back up into the sunshine.

‘Edison gave us three days after the diagnosis to say goodbye on his terms, in our arms, in our spaces and the climb up that ladder was able to begin. One day we’ll reach the top, but we’ll never forget our angel.’

‘There are no words to describe the inconceivable loss of losing our baby, but we’re deeply thankful to everyone who has used what words they can to console us and our family in this impossible time,’ the couple wrote.

‘I must admit the kindness was unexpected, which is sad of itself and has taught me that it is possible to surround myself with like-hearted people; people who want to help each other through the incredible moments, such as the birth of a child, as well as the painful days. Never stop being kind. You are making a difference.’

The couple and their family are now raising funds for ‘other mums, dads and bubbas who need the help and support of ‘Team Royal.’

jd mf

‘Somehow ‘Team Royal’ managed to keep us insulated and able to stay focussed on our son and each other, and yet informed and prepared to take each next difficult step as it arose,’ they wrote.

‘We aim to donate to the midwifery group practice program that brought our boy into the world so naturally and peacefully and supported us with their amazing strength through this whole ordeal, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who did everything possible to save our boy and once discovered his condition wasn’t treatable, arranged the most beautiful ways to spend the remaining moments with him.’

Anyone who wishes to donate to the family can do so here.

More beautiful images and the full tribute to Edison can be found on the Blog Daylight – James Day

Share your comments below.

Images via Facebook and Tilt

Main Image via Youtube

  • This is just so so sad, thank you for sharing.


  • If I could thank this family for sharing their story in an incredibly sad time. Brings tears to my eyes. No words can ever explain the pain parents go through losing a child.


  • So sad and heartfelt… I kissed your baby boy right along with you and felt your tears alongside my own. God has graced you both with such courage. God bless you❤️❤️❤️


  • It is very brave and generous of the family to share such an intimate moment with the world.


  • How heartbreaking… my sincere sympathy and sending special love and gentle hugs your way.


  • Watching the video you can feel the pain, bless them !


  • Ooh, there are no words… I just cried. Whilst so sad, what a beautiful way to share and celebrate their son’s life. They will have this always.


  • Absolutely beautiful yet completely heartbreaking!
    Thank you to this couple and the photographer for sharing such private and moving moments.
    The midwives at The Royal are professional and caring.


  • This was a beautiful story but sorry for your lose



  • Very heartbreaking story – I have lost two children so know what they are going through, but I’m not sure if they are better off than me without those extra two days. So hard either way.


  • i cannot imagine the heartbreak that parents go through in losing a child,I’m so glad this family got to spend time with theirs and enjoyed every possible moment.


  • It is an immense gift this photographer could capture these memories in Edison’s final moments. I wish this couple all the best in their future together, and marvel at their strength to cope with this tragedy and to their endeavours to raise funds for ‘Team Royal’.


  • I was with a friend of mine from the time her little boy was born to the time he passed away 4 hours later. It was heartbreaking.


  • How heartbreaking and tragic. Blessings to the parents.


  • Very sad to see this story,my heart goes out to the parents.


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