Olympic Swimmer Brooke Hanson On The Immense Grief Of Burying A Child

Olympic Swimmer Brooke Hanson On The Immense Grief Of Burying A Child

Olympic Swimmer Brooke Hanson’s baby Jack was just nine-months-old when he took his last breath. Arriving 12 weeks premature, he weighed just 663 grams at birth and suffered a myriad of health issues during his time in the neonatal intensive care unit. “I really didn’t even know if I was going to survive, let alone […]

by | Oct 28, 2019

Olympic Swimmer Brooke Hanson’s baby Jack was just nine-months-old when he took his last breath. Arriving 12 weeks premature, he weighed just 663 grams at birth and suffered a myriad of health issues during his time in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“I really didn’t even know if I was going to survive, let alone him,” Brooke said in an interview with The Daily Addition. “It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life when they said the blood flow and the placenta were reversing and it might kill me and I might kill the baby.”

RELATED: This Woman’s Post Perfectly Sums Up The Relentless Pain Of Grief

At 28 weeks and five days, Brooke’s doctors ordered an emergency caesarean.

“They had to get Jack out as quickly as possible,” she explained. “He was born at 28 weeks and five days, and he only weighed 663 grams… Every time I go and get 500 grams of butter out of the fridge, I think, my premmie baby only weighed that much just after he was born.”

After saying their farewells, Brooke and her husband Jared were overcome with grief. And while that heartache is still with them nearly a decade on, they have found comfort in sharing Jack’s memory with others.

“It’s been rewarding and empowering for me as a mum and also with my husband as well, for both of us to talk about it,” Brooke said.

“The research has been done by the Murdoch Institute and 50 per cent of couples end up with depression – and a lot of couples divorce. So it was a priority for us to make Jack a huge memory in our life, and to really fight through those tough days together.”

She recalled waking up one morning in tears, craving one “final hug” – a moment that led her to begin campaigning to raise awareness and support for the 48,000 premature or sick babies born in Australia each year.

“You hold that precious soul for his last breath and you really just want to make sure that for the rest of your life you are making a difference. There are so many mums and dads who have come forward to say thank you, Brooke – we are now sharing our story as well.

“He is part of our family forever. I always say I have four children – I have three with me, and I have a beautiful angel who guides us through,” she added.

“I know my heart will always have that scar, but it’s nice to know that there’s support around me and Jack will always be with me.”

RELATED: Libby Trickett On The ‘Weird Guilt’ She Feels Remembering Her Miscarriage

Recommended to you

More From