When devastated mum and dad Laura and Mark Elliott lost their little boy Cowen to meningitis when he was 17 days old, the couple decided to put his ashes into a cuddly bear so that their son would always be with the family as they make memories together.
The teddy – who Laura dresses in a different outfit every day – joins Skyla, 3, and Ethan, 6, on days out, holidays, and trips to the shops – just as baby Cowen would have done.
Laura has chronicled all their adventures in a scrapbook, to make sure Cowen will always be remembered.
Speaking to the Mirror, Laura said that Cowen the bear had been by her side ever since her baby son died.
“I’ve bought a big handbag so he fits in it and we always take photos of him out and about,” she said. “He has been on so many adventures and having him around has helped us with the loss of Cowen.”
She said the bear enables her older children to feel their little brother is still very much part of their family life.
“Skyla and Ethan can now make memories while knowing their little brother is with them,” Laura explained. “We’ve been on so many family days out with the teddy now that it wouldn’t feel right if he wasn’t with us. If we are on a bike ride, going to parties or school, Cowen the bear is always there.”
She said the scrapbook – which she updates with photos every week – will also be a lovely thing for Ethan and Skyla to look back on when they older.
Cowen tragically passed away after contracting a deadly strain of meningitis shortly after his birth in 2016. Within 3 and a half hours of being diagnosed with the disease, the little boy died. His heartbroken mum told the paper she had no idea her ‘restless’ son would become so ill, so quickly.
“Cowen had colic and was always a little restless so when he started to refuse any milk, I didn’t think anything of it at first,” she said.
“But the following morning his whole body turned grey and when I went to change his nappy, I saw the purple pin pricks on his body.
“I rushed him to hospital but it was already too late, his organs were shutting down and his heart was no longer beating.
“After being ventilated and watching the rash spread all over his body, we were told there was nothing more that could save him.”
“Cowen was placed on one after he passed away, and Laura and Mark and their wider family were able to spend precious time with him, and even cuddle him.”
What a sad story – but what a sweet way for the family to remember their lovely little boy.