Letter: Lives lived

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Sir: The article "How do you live with the death of a child?" (4 August) raises some interesting aspects of how people cope following the death of a child; in all these cases it was sudden and this is something we, as parents, have not experienced. However, our two sons were born with a rare immunological problem, only identified when they were five and six, after several years of intermittent infection problems. They died aged 19 and 20 respectively - in the same year and, like many other parents, we had coped with an ongoing illness for many years, always hoping that medical science would keep "one jump ahead". I had to come to terms with the fact that I was the guilty person who had passed on the defective gene. We had only admiration and praise for the two hospitals involved - we know they did their utmost with many difficult situations over the years. How did we cope? We kept ourselves very busy and would always include "the boys" in conversations. We support the charity researching into this disease. We have questioned ourselves since, that perhaps we thought of ourselves too much and maybe our daughter needed that more support. However, she has come through well; she has been tested and does not carry the defective gene and has now three healthy boys who are a delight to us. We only have one chance in life and it is to be lived.


Evesham, Hereford and Worcester