A couple already parents to a lovely boy were overjoyed when they welcomed a little princess into their hearts and home. They looked forward to doting on their kids and creating timeless memories. Sadly, one night, their months-old daughter went to bed and never woke again.
Tara Lyons and Daniel O’Sullivan lived in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England. The lovely couple wished to revel in parental bliss and start a family. Fortunately, their heartfelt wish came true when they became parents to an adorable baby boy, Leo.
After welcoming their son, Tara and Daniel’s world changed most unexpectedly. They couldn’t help but dote on their sweet boy, who became a ray of sunshine and filled their lives with endless love and joy.
Embracing Parenthood Again
A few years later, the couple received another heartwarming news — they were pregnant with their second baby. As was expected, Tara and Daniel were thrilled to complete their family and see their handsome young boy take on the role of a big brother.
After a day in the hospital, Tara and Daniel received a piece of heart-shattering news.
In December 2018, the Hertfordshire couple were blessed with a baby girl, Sofia Lyons-O’Sullivan. Tara described her daughter as a “lovely happy baby” who could brighten up even the darkest days.
A Lively Personality
Sofia’s mother noted that while she had gestational diabetes throughout her pregnancy, there were never any other complications. She said her baby girl continued to meet all her milestones, and her weight was fine.
Per Tara, her beautiful and gentle little girl liked having her hair pulled back into cute ponytails and enjoyed goofing around with her brother. Moreover, she could crawl, walk, and speak a few words by the time she turned one and a half years old. Sofia’s mother further stated:
“Even though some people don’t think they have personalities at that age, she really did – she was so funny and cheeky and sassy.”
An Almost Perfect Life
Parents Tara and Daniel said their daughter was a huge Moana fan and would sit and enjoy the movie, making faces at the bad characters and laughing with her favorite ones.
Little Sofia also enjoyed being around her brother and cracking up at his many antics. Even when the world, including the U.K., went into lockdown after the pandemic hit in March 2020, Tara and Daniel’s little world was happy and picture-perfect.
The duo said they moved to a bigger house with three bedrooms and a garden and had all the time and space together as a family. Little Sofia had her own room, with grey mountains painted on the walls, a pile of books, and a stack of pink and leopard print cushions and blankets.
But in April 2020, the Hertfordshire family’s world changed in ways they had never thought possible. Parents Tara and Daniel said their baby girl was “happy and healthy” but was suffering from the sniffles. They put her to bed one night, thinking she was teething, but were shocked when she woke up the next morning and didn’t want her toast.
A distraught Tara noted that her daughter seemed so fragile that she couldn’t open her eyes. The couple took their girl to the hospital, and while the doctor told them she needed antibiotics, Tara said she let out a scream after seeing Sofia’s condition.
The little one was transferred to Great Osmond Street Hospital in London, where her mother said she underwent a couple of tests to determine what was wrong. After a day in the hospital, Tara and Daniel received a piece of heart-shattering news.
The Hardest Goodbye
The couple said that despite not showing any symptoms, Sofia was diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), a rare brain condition characterized by an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins, disrupting blood circulation.
Despite the doctors’ best efforts to help the little girl, the devastated parents said they were told Sofia wouldn’t make it. Tara said that her daughter appeared to show no signs of the condition but was gradually deteriorating.
On Easter Sunday, six days after 15-month-old Sofia was taken to the hospital, her parents confirmed that her life support was switched off. A devastated Tara expressed:
“All I could hear as I held Sofia was Frozen’s Let it Go in the background and I’m not sure what it was, but I looked at Dan and we knew it was time. It broke my heart.”
Leaving with Memories
As the heartbroken parents cuddled and kissed their beloved daughter, they also had to prepare to share the news with her older brother. Leo, who was seven years old then, was told by his mom and dad that he wouldn’t see his baby sister again because she was in heaven. Tara added:
“I walked in to the hospital with my one and a half year old, and left with a box of memories.”
Losing Sofia crushed her parents, who didn’t know how to cope with their soul-crushing grief and trauma. To honor her little angel and keep her memory alive, Tara felt she needed to do something, so she contacted Bloodhound Books, where she worked as a publisher.
Honoring Her Daughter
On what would have been Sofia’s third birthday in December 2021, Tara said she worked on a Christmas anthology filled with young-adult fiction short stories written by a number of famous authors. The mother explained that she wished to raise awareness of the condition that claimed her daughter’s life.
Tara mentioned that the book “Written in the Stars” was published in October 2022. While Sofia’s family only got to celebrate one birthday with her, they hope to always carry their lovely daughter’s sweet memory in their hearts. Tara expressed:
“The cover of the book has a little girl reaching for the stars and it looks like Sofia, in such a gentle and sweet way that was just like her.”
A shattered Tara said she wants everyone to remember Sofhia as a beautiful, Moana-loving girl. We send our heartfelt condolences to Tara and Daniel, and we hope they can find peace knowing that their little daughter will always be loved. Rest in God’s arms, little angel.