Inspiring

Boy With Cancer Cradles Baby Sister Hours Before He Dies After Vowing to Live Long Enough to Meet Her

A 9-year-old British boy was determined to meet his new baby sister before he lost his battle with cancer, The Independent reports.

Bailey Cooper was told by doctors he had only days to live after a 15-month cancer battle, having been diagnosed with stage three Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016.

Doctors initially thought Bailey had a viral infection but discovered he had a rare form of cancer.

“We didn’t know anything then. When we brought him into hospital before, we thought he would be okay, and we started doubting ourselves for a bit,” his father, Lee, told the Bristol Post. “But the pains got worse and worse, and the oncology doctors told us he had to go into treatment.”

After starting chemotherapy, Bailey’s cancer went into remission but in the spring the hospital told the family that Bailey had relapsed.

“He went into chemo again,” Lee said, adding that doctors gave Bailey a 70 percent chance of survival. “The doctors threw the book at it, and told us even if he survived it, the long term effects will last for the rest of his life. He had a stem cell transplant. We had to try everything we could.”

By August, however, the cancer had spread to his stomach, chest, lungs, and liver.

Doctors said he had only days or weeks to live.

“Bailey was only nine, but we were very open with him,” Lee said. “We told him straight away. He broke down and said he didn’t want to go on his own. We stayed there with him, and in a couple of hours, he took it all in. He gave us a smile and said: ‘Let’s go home.’”

Bailey was at home for three months, determined to meet his new sister when she was born.

“Doctors said he was going to go before Millie was born,” his mother Rachel said. “He didn’t.”

“He fought, and on the way to the hospital, he said we should call her Millie,” she said. “He hugged her and did everything an older brother would do – change her, wash her, sing to her.”

Bailey was taken to a hospice shortly after and died on Christmas Eve surrounded by his family.

“We have to carry on for Bailey,” Rachel said. “He told us in our last family meeting: ‘You’re only allowed to cry for 20 minutes. You have to take care of Riley and Millie.'”