Beloved son took final breath in mother’s arms
He was born 10 weeks early, battling leukaemia and liver failure, and was so fragile he couldn't be held in his parents' arms.
But Archie Seveir was born to be a fighter.
The three-week-old baby lost his battle to survive on January 30.
But his mum and dad, Hervey Bay's Tanika and Jack Seveir, will treasure the memories they have of their beloved son for a lifetime.
After a difficult pregnancy, in which Archie's heart rate and weight caused concern for doctors, he was born by emergency caesarean in Brisbane on January 6.
The couple had been in Brisbane to have testing to confirm previous tests that had indicated Archie had Down syndrome when concerns surrounding his heart rate led to the decision to deliver him.
Tanika had battled through a challenging pregnancy after learning she was expecting her second child when her firstborn son, Rory, was four months old.
She was diagnosed with high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during the pregnancy and was not expected to go full term.
When Archie arrived he was placed on a ventilator.
A week after he was born, he was undergoing his first round of chemotherapy.
It wasn't until he was two weeks old that Tanika and Jack finally got to hold their son in their arms.
They wanted to hold him to encourage him to keep fighting, not to give up.
They couldn't have the skin to skin contact they desired because of the chemo Archie was undergoing.
"We could see in his face, holding him, he was in so much pain," Tanika said.
Looking around the room, at people cuddling babies who were in special care but growing stronger, added to the family's pain.
While the chemo destroyed the leukaemia cells in Archie's body, it did not have the desired effect of helping his liver and he was suffering from jaundice.
It was heartbreaking, but Tanika was incredibly proud of her tiny son.
"He handled the chemo like a champ," she said.
In addition to the struggles Archie was facing with his kidneys and liver, he also had two holes in his heart and one of the arteries in his heart was found to be narrow.
A new medication that had not yet been trialled in Australia was given to Archie to try to treat his liver.
But with every avenue to help him failing, the family would have to make a heartbreaking decision.
After a family meeting with doctors, Tanika and Jack had to decide if they wanted to continue to go ahead with treatment, including resuscitating Archie in the event that he stopped breathing, or whether palliative care would be provided and Archie would be allowed to pass peacefully.
Tanika, a registered nurse, was torn by the decision - the nurse in her that wanted the kindest death possible for her son and the mum in her who didn't want to stop fighting.
At the advice of a colleague, Tankia invoked Ryan's rule to get a second opinion; not because she was unhappy with the care provided to her son, but because she wanted to make sure every avenue had been exhausted before making the final decision.
After hearing from another doctor that he believed every option had been explored, with a heavy heart Tanika called Jack.
She explained that everything possible had been done for Archie and they needed to let him go.
Their parents, sister and Rory raced to Archie's side so they could meet him before he died.
Tanika remembers Rory seeing his baby brother for the first time and the excitement her little boy felt.
"He started clapping his hands," she said.
For the first time, Jack and Tanika were able to have skin to skin contact with their son and family members were able to nurse him as well.
Then Jack, Tanika and Rory went into a room in the hospital where they held Archie until he took his final breath.
Tanika said she was grateful for the medical care Archie had received.
"Everyone there was so amazed at how hard he fought," she said.
"I can't fault how the nurses and doctors treated him.
"They were always talking to him, telling him to keep it up and that he could do it."
Despite the heartbreak, Tanika said she wouldn't trade the time she had with Archie for anything in the world.
"He was meant to be with us, he just wasn't meant to be here for a long time."
Archie's funeral will be held on Friday at 10am in the Orana Chapel at J Kirk and Sons' Hervey Bay Crematorium on Urraween Rd, Urraween.