Arius Markus Kiran Seetahal was born on October 28th, 2019, at 8:44 pm weighing only 4lbs, 1 oz. At birth, he presented with a range of medical issues that were not specific to any disorder or condition. His first 86 days of life were spent receiving aggressive medical treatment in the SickKids NICU. When all treatment avenues were exhausted, the idea of palliative care was suggested to his parents.
With heavy hearts, Mark and Kristen made an appointment to tour Emily’s House (children’s hospice in Toronto). When they arrived, a warm and friendly member of the nursing staff greeted them: “No parent wants to be here, but this is also a place of hope. Babies surprise us all the time, and we have seen some transition home,” she said. This was the sliver of hope that Mark and Kristen were so desperately searching for, and they carried this hope with them right up until Ari’s passing. The uplifting and positive atmosphere they experienced on this tour prompted them to return to SickKids and ask for an immediate transfer.
Ari’s two weeks spent at Emily’s House were some of the happiest days of his and his family’s life. His parents and big brother moved in immediately. They enjoyed music and play therapy together. Ari took baths with his big brother, went for stroller rides, and had a family outing to the pool! The kind staff at Emily’s House also helped throw a “make-up” Christmas party for Ari and his big extended family.
On the morning of February 7th, Ari peacefully passed in his parents’ arms, surrounded by family, and supported by the compassionate staff.
“Emily’s House is not a place where our son died, but rather a place where he lived and thrived. It was an honour to bring Ari to Emily’s House, as he was able to experience a profound love, not just from his family and friends, but also from the staff, patients, and volunteers at Emily’s House. This place is truly one of immense love, and the memories we made here will be cherished forever.”
Mark and Kristen