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Little Dolphin

A sad but uplifting story about a six month old baby from a remote community in the Northern Territory,  Australia

Send this page as an e-mail to your friends and colleagues !  (Instructions below)  

Option: Skip request and go straight to the poem (not recommended)

Hi Allen

I have a very special friend, Jane,  who's baby died 6 months ago aged 6 months.
Well it is baby Jacks 1st Birthday next Sunday and I offered Jane my free poem
as a gift.  (Ed: Every request is entitled to a free economy poem, and yes they're transferable...) I hope this is okay with you.  We planted a tree at the lake when he
died and for his birthday we are going to have a picnic around the tree and lay
down a memorial rock with a plaque on it.  It would  be lovely for her to have
something to read at the picnic.  I'm sure Jane will fill you in on how much
Jack touched us and the community and how he was a very special little boy, she
will be sending an email directly to you shortly.

I can't wait to hear how you have worked your magic again...................

Cheers, Jacqui

PS - My wedding poem was a hit - couldn't have been any better

Hi Allen

My name is Jane, a friend of Jackie Fahy, now Stronach from Jabiru.  She has
offered for me to use the extra poem you do as part of your 'package'.  If you
are happy with that I would like a poem written for my 6mth baby boy who died in

Jack Samson Turner was born on the 30-09-00 in Darwin with Down Syndrome.
Unfortunately he had many life threatening problems, dying on the 11 April 01 at
6mths & 11 days.

I guess in a poem I would like the following sort of things included.  Jack
spent the first 16 weeks in hospital, including Melbourne for open heart surgery
& 6 weeks in the women's & children's in Adelaide, mainly in ICU.  A day in Jacks
life consisted of x-rays, blood transfusions, IV feeds which meant continuous
needles looking for veins, he had general Anesthetic 5 times, three major
operations, he was on oxygen his whole life, had a colostomy & was fed through
his nose when he could 'feed'.  Jack came out of hospital at 16 weeks when they
discovered his terminal condition expecting him to live for days.  Jack lived
for 11 weeks before dying.  This was a great time in that we were all in
Adelaide where my family live which enabled us to share the 6 weeks in hospital
in Adelaide & five weeks after all together.  We could spend time with Jack for
the first time & get to know him as he did us.  We  finally took Jack home to
Jabiru, our home.  He had five weeks there in our home & lived a 'normal' life
before dying.  The community of Jabiru  during the past months did some fund
raising which were the biggest events of the year winning the "community event
of the year" raising $11000.  With a population of 1200 it shows that a huge
majority of the community supported this.  It was a great thing to come of
something so sad.  Everyone put aside their differences for a sick little boy.
"Baby Jack" became the communities baby.
Our 5 weeks at  home were extremely special.  Jaimi 7, Georgie 1 & Angus 6 are
Jacks siblings.  Angus does not live with us & very rarely saw jack but Jaimi &
Georgie adored him.  Jaimi spent many hours nursing Jack & looking after him,
helping me out no end.  Georgie was 17 mths when Jack was born & just loved
Jack, never showing a sign of jealousy.  She would lay with him, sleep next to
him, cuddle him & give him big kisses.  As Jack was attached to oxygen & his
feeds we all spent a lot of time in the lounge room.  Music was often playing with
the girls dancing with Dave (Dad), Jack & myself watching.  We took Jack for a
ride in the car out bush which was memorable.  Jack started to smile once he was
out of hospital, he started sucking his fingers, sucking his lips, he could
recognize us all.  He could follow me with his eyes, I would say "kiss" & he
would open his mouth for a kiss.  Before leaving hospital he did none of this.
He actually started to be "normal" which was fantastic but difficult because it
didn't seem right if he was going to die.
On the 10th April I took Jack into Darwin to the hospital.  That night he
rapidly (within 15 minutes) couldn't breathe & was "saved" & put on life support
allowing Dave & the girls to come in from Jabiru (2 hours drive).  Early the
next morning Jack died in my arms with the others around us.  Our wish was for
our family to be there.  We then took Jack back to a friends place in Darwin, my
Mum (Nanna) flew up from Adelaide & we cuddled Jack all day.  He looked so much
at peace.  We kept him all night & early the next day we had him cremated.
That evening we all went to the beach.  All day I had this incredible feeling to
go to the beach. The water was dead calm with an incredible sunset.  We were
there all looking up at the same time to this lone dolphin jump vertical in the
air, so high that his tale was out of the water also.  That symbolised to us
that Jack was now free from his body which caused pain & didn't work.  He was
finally on his way for his job was complete.

That is a quick run down.  I guess if you can take from that what you wish  & I
would be more than happy to liase with you on anything.

I really do appreciate it,  thank you,

Jane Turner
PO Box 78 Jabiru  NT  0886
08 89792664 (hm)
08 89381303 (wk)

We were almost in awe of Jack.  I believe he chose to come here for a reason,
yet of which I don't know other than many goods things have come from his short
life.  Many things during his life & I am sure when I can see again through the
pain of him not being here I will see reasons in the future.  He was so brave,
his strength & courage never ceased to amaze me
Everybody gets to leave this earth,
everybody has their final day,
some people get old and wizened,
some people get old and gray.
But others have a much shorter time,
but they still get to leave their mark,
and their light manages to shine on,
even through the darkest dark.
And that's you, my little dolphin,
you've been an inspiration to us all,
your courage and tenacity,
makes me feel about ten feet tall.
Jaimi, Georgie and Angus doted over you,
in fact, you brought the whole community together,
although you never got the chance to leave your footprints, 
the impression you made will last forever.
You are so very much a part of me,
I'll always treasure and hold you near,
and they say everything for a reason,
although right now its not that clear.
But when I look deep within,
I feel your strength inside of me,
and when I need to feel and touch you,
I just dream of you swimming free.
Because that evening on the beach,
you came back to say your last goodbye,
and with no tubes to hold you down,
you leapt clear out, as if to fly.
So swim free my little dolphin,
your time with us was a gift from above,
swim free my little dolphin,
with all our blessings and all our love. 
Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2001

Jane kindly replied: 

"Hi Allen,
You have an amazing gift & it's nice to share that with you.  First thing, I
would be more than happy for you to publish it using our details.  You in fact
maybe the first avenue of sharing Jack's & our incredible journey with others
who may be having similar experiences.  I know when Jack died the one message I
wanted to share with as many people as I could was that YOU have the right over
your dead child, not the Drs or nurses.   The fact that we were able to take
Jack home & spend the next 24hrs with him once he died was incredible as it gave
us time to feel the separation between Jack's body & soul so when it came time
to put him in his coffin it was a "peaceful" experience as we had said 'goodbye'
during the past 24 hours.  When I told the hospital I was taking him they had to
'check' if it was ok & said I had to bring him back in the afternoon.  I didn't
take him back because I was aware that legally we didn't have to.  Having spent
6 mths working with the 'professionals' we learnt early on how to question &
gained the confidence to speak up, that is why at the vulnerable time I could
still speak up whereas many others who have not dealt with them feel as though
the 'professionals' know best.  We learnt this is not always the case. Most
people wouldn't even be aware of their rights & I think the way things are done
today is more for the professionals convenience & best interest, not the
bereaved.  If we had to part with Jack that first day it would have been so much
more traumatic whereas as I mentioned it was 'peaceful'.

As for your poem I was very moved by it.  Allen I am more than happy with that.  It is beautiful, Thank you. I don't have any other changes or anything else to suggest.

Allen please do share our message with as many people, i am more than happy for
you to put what ever you want into your news letter.  Obviously I would love to
be on your 'mailing list'.

Allen I will be sending a copy of your poem along with all your details to a
wonderful lady, Sara Fleming. She is the palliative carer at the Women's &
Children's Hospital in Adelaide & with your details she may wish to pass them
onto families similar to ourselves.  I know Sara had some lovely ideas to share
with us when Jack was sick & having a poem written is another lovely thing to be
able to do.  Do you have any objections?

I look forward to hearing from you & once again, Thank you"

Jane Turner

(You can send more stories at www.agiftofpoetry.com !)

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