Even though bad things happen in this world, God is good and he loves us. We need to trust in his plans, even when all the things in our life seem to be going wrong. One family is experiencing an unbelievable bittersweet feeling as they welcomed a new child into the world just before losing another. Bailey Cooper was a fun-loving 9-year-old boy who was told he only had a few days or weeks to live after doctors found that cancer had spread throughout his whole body. Beating the odds, Bailey was able to hold on long enough to meet and name his new baby sister, Millie. He was able to meet precious Millie just before he passed away on Christmas Eve of last year.
Bailey battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the course of about a year, and that year was filled with ups and downs. By the time the cancer was discovered in late 2016, it was already in stage three. Even though his cancer was already advanced by then, Bailey immediately started chemotherapy and medications that led him to remission in February of 2017. Unfortunately, by Easter time, Bailey had relapsed and his cancer was back. Even though the future seemed grim, he fought hard and went into remission yet again in July of 2017. “We had six weeks at home with him that Summer,” his mother, Rachel, said. “It was amazing.” But by August, the cancer had come back. This time it was not only in stage four, but it was very aggressive and spreading fast. “She told us there wasn’t very long left — it was only days or weeks,” Bailey’s father, Lee, said.
Even though his prognosis was bad, the boy was determined to meet his new little sister, which would be the third addition to the family after him and his younger brother, Riley. But, his parents said that those three months weren’t easy and that Bailey’s condition deteriorated very rapidly. “Doctors said he was going to go before Millie was born. He didn’t. He fought, and on the way to the hospital, he said we should call her Millie,” Lee said. “But the moment after he met her, he began to taper off quickly. He was slipping away.”
Even though he was in so much pain, Bailey was as amazing as any older brother would be. He helped out taking care of his newborn sister and loved cuddling her. Things got worse, though, and he told his family: “I want to stay but it’s my time to go, to become her guardian angel.” Then, on December 22, Bailey was brought into hospice. On Christmas Eve afternoon, Baily took his last breath with his mom and dad by his side. “Bailey was an absolute inspiration to us,” Lee said. “We have to carry on for Bailey. You’re only allowed to cry for 20 minutes. You have to take care of Riley and Millie.”
Please share this story and pray for the Cooper family as they mourn Bailey but celebrate their new addition, Millie.