You should understand the meaning of a purple butterfly sticker if you see one next to a newborn.

Just a few weeks prior, Millie Smith and Lewis Cann learned they were expecting twin girls, and only one of them would survive.

On April 30, Smith gave birth to Callie and Skye, identical twins, following 30 weeks of a high-risk pregnancy. Skye did not survive; she was only alive for three hours.

Afterwards, Callie slept in the incubator of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) alone, with her parents’ sorrowful and loving eyes looking over her. Smith was foolishly informed by a stressed-out mother of healthy newborn twins that she was “so lucky” not to have two infants on the unit with the other babies.

The remarks devastated the new mother, who felt unable to express her anguish. Later on, she realized that Skye’s legacy—a purple butterfly—was to help other families who had lost a child.

In November 2015, Millie Smith and her partner Lewis Cann found out they were expecting their first child. Smith said she had a “gut feeling” she would have two kids. Smith’s family includes twins. Experts in medicine verified that Smith was having identical twin daughters ten weeks later.

Less than two weeks after they had been overjoyed to discover they would have twice as many children in their house, the British couple were devastated to learn that one of their newborns had a severe condition and would not survive after birth.

“The scan was being performed while the doctor remained silent. She didn’t say anything, but I was so excited to see the little babies that I couldn’t stop myself. Lewis and I both saw there had to be a problem immediately,” Smith said.

The infant’s illness was revealed by doctors to be anencephaly, which affects around one in 4,600 newborns in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anencephaly is a serious birth disorder in which a newborn is born without parts of its brain or skull; almost all kids with this disease will pass away soon after birth.

The couple decided to carry out the extremely risky pregnancy despite knowing that their firstborn would not live long after birth and that their secondborn would be in danger.

Over the next few months, Smith and Cann gave their twins names, Skye and Callie. “We knew that Skye needed a name before she was born,” Smith said. “Knowing that, I wanted her name to be known in the few seconds or minutes that she would live.”

The speaker emphasized, “Skye meant somewhere we knew she would always be, that we could look up at the sky and remember our baby.”

When Smith went into labor on April 30, just 30 weeks into her pregnancy, an emergency C-section was necessary. After the delivery, the couple was placed in a special chamber called the “Daisy Room,” where families may spend time with a baby both before and after she or he dies away, and they were assigned a “bereavement midwife” to help them deal with the loss.

“The girls both sobbed at their birth. Smith expressed gratitude for having spent three hours with Skye before to her death, saying, “This was a huge moment as we were told that Skye would not make a noise or move.” “Skye died while we were holding her. The lowest point of our life was this. I’ve never experienced heartbreak quite like that. However, I am honored that she persevered for such a long period to be with us.

Callie was born prematurely and had to stay in the NICU until she regained her strength. Three other sets of twins were also kept in the unit.

The majority of the nurses knew what had happened, but as time went on, nobody spoke about Skye. Smith said, “After approximately four weeks, everyone pretended like nothing had occurred, so the folks around were unaware of our predicament.

Smith was casually told by a worried mother whose twins were in the NICU one morning that she was “so lucky” not to have twins.

“The other parents were unaware of Skye’s situation or anything that had occurred to her. The remark was more lighthearted and entirely harmless.They were not to be aware that I had two at one time. Smith went on, “But the remark almost broke me.” They had no clue why I had sobbed as I hurried out of the room. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them what had transpired. That whole thing might have been prevented with only a sticker.

Smith knew then and there that she had to do something to speak for bereaved parents and make sure the miscommunication never occurred again.

She created a billboard for the NICU informing staff members and guests that if an incubator has a purple butterfly on it, it indicates that one or more of the infants in a set of multiples have died.

Smith stated, “I chose butterflies because I thought it was appropriate to remember the babies that flew away, and the color purple because it works well for both boys and girls.”

The purple butterfly idea, which is currently under the umbrella of the Skye High Foundation, has extended to hospitals in other international locations.

Callie is now seven years old and a cheerful, energetic child. Her legacy is preserved in purple butterfly cards and other programs that support families worldwide who have infants similar to Skye. There are now many other ways to get purple butterflies: as ornaments, cards, blankets, plush animals, and more.

“In the end, I won’t be able to stop this from occurring, but it would be better if we can establish more support groups and implement measures like the stickers. It’s the most difficult thing for anyone to handle, according to Smith.

A parent of any age might find it difficult to lose a child, therefore the world is fortunate to have people like Millie Smith who are dedicated to helping others.

Tell others about this tale so they can understand the significance of a purple butterfly close to a newborn.

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