Parents endure heartbreak no family should ever have to face.

Les and Celeste Chappell lost three of their 10 children just days apart. Christopher, 20, Elizabeth, 19, and James, 15, passed awat from a rare illness called Batten disease in the span of just three days.

The parents of 10 children had to make the brutal decision to take two of their kids off life support and let a third child die during one weekend last July, reports Daily Mail.

One of their younger sons, Samuel, is still living with the genetic disorder, which usually kills children by their early 20s.

Batten disease, for which there is no treatment, causes children to lose their ability to see, speak and remember things, and the rare ailment eventually renders them unable to swallow, which chains them to life support.

On the day that the children came off life support, their three hospital beds were lined up side by side in a sunny area of the Chappell’s living room.

James, Elizabeth and Christopher were given morphine and lorazepam so that they would die comfortably.

A hospice team warned Les and Celeste that it could take weeks for their children to die, which they told the Washington Post they were not prepared for.

The three children passed away quickly after they were taken off life support on Friday the 14.

Our hearts ache for this family. How do you ever move forward from such tragedy?

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Image via Washington Post


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  • Just breaks my heart what that family has been through and that they had the strength to turn the life support of their 3 children and that they have to do it again sometime soon with one of their youngest son.


  • Terrible circumstances and with 10 children it seems 4 out of the ten ended up with the genetic disorder addingnto the tragedy


  • How awful that it all happened at once. Such a sad time for the family.


  • may they all rest in peace – what a heartbreaking thing to have to endure, it would be hard enough for one, yet alone 3 and knowing that there will be another one down the track would be just so hard to live with. They show amazing strength and courage and love for their children.


  • How heartbreaking this is ! And how hard for the younger son Samuel to know that he will follow his sibling in death. Or maybe he finds comfort in the thought to be with them ?
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, they must be stricken by grieve.


  • This is a sad lose, to lose three so close together and knowing that another child will die too this way.


  • Ugh, how horrible for the family, especially the sibling still living with the disease


  • Oh how tragic my thought and prayers are sent to this family.


  • Wow I couldn’t imagine what they’re going through- you should never have to suffer losing a child let alone three.


  • it is sad because they are basically saying that they would come off life support to wait until they starve to death. How tragic and inconceivable to think of. prayers for them all


  • My heart goes out to the parents,so very heart-breaking.


  • Oh, this is so incredibly sad … my heart breaks for this family and their severe loss!


  • How horrible for them, I don’t know that I would be strong enough to do that


  • How devastating. From experience, knowing it would come may have helped a little in the initial day or two, but longer term it won’t have helped at all.


  • That is so heart-breaking, my heart goes out to the parents and siblings. To loose not one but 3 children would be shattering.


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