“Not all angels have wings”: mum’s beautiful letter to hospital staff after losing one of her twins

"Thank you for rocking my babies at night... thank you for being gentle when they were so fragile"


We imagine this Christmas will be a somewhat bittersweet time for new parents Ibah Ahmad and Bara Ashi from Wales.


For, while they’ll be celebrating with their new bubba – a little girl named Mervat – and their 2 other children, aged 2 and 4, they’ll also be mourning the loss of Mervat’s twin brother Munir, who died before being discharged from NICU at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Mervat and Munir were born at just 26 weeks, and were put into intensive care. Munir had emergency surgery on his stomach but unfortunately didn’t make it – though medical staff had made every effort to save him.

Despite her huge grief, new mum Ibah took time to write this beautiful letter to the hospital staff – thanking them for what they had done. (You might want tissues handy…?)

Ibah’s letter in full

“Dear NICU Nurses, Doctors and Staff – each and every one of you,

“I don’t think you realise the impact you have had on our family.

“A mere ‘thank you’ does not seem enough for everything that you have done for us, but it’s all we have to give you.

  • Thank you for rocking my babies when I couldn’t be with them at night
  • Thank you for teaching us to read the machines they were attached to
  • Thank you for helping me hold them without pulling out all their tubes
  • Thank you for letting me be involved in their care even when it would double your workload
  • Thank you for being gentle with them when they were so fragile
  • Thank you for celebrating each millilitre of milk consumed, each gram of weigh grained and each breath taken without the breathing tubes
  • Thank you for silently standing beside me as I cried tears of helplessness
  • Thank you for quietly closing the curtains to give me privacy when I needed to cry alone
  • Thank you for putting up with my endless phone calls even when you were busy
  • Thank you for making me feel like a normal mother at a time when I felt anything but normal
  • Thank you for celebrating the news of Mervat’s discharge
  • Thank you for crying with me and supporting me when Munir passed away
  • Thank you for making me look forward to coming in every day
  • Thank you for making each day that passes feel like another big milestone to celebrate, and another day closer to home
  • Thank you for telling me my babies were cute and beautiful even when they looked half-baked
  • Thank you for taking the time to dress them in cute clothes and making their cots and incubators look pretty
  • Thank you for helping me get through one of the toughest experiences of our lives. You were part of the reason we survived it.

“I don’t know most of what you have seen. I know you worried about my babies on a bad day and sometimes cried your own tears behind closed doors.

“I know that when alarms were ringing and both our babies needed you, you were calm and focussed.

“I hope you know I felt you hand on my shoulder. I hope you know that I was grateful to see your faces every morning.

“I hope you know how important each and every one of you was to us.

“My husband and I would spend hours talking about how amazing you are.

“Although many names come to mind, it would be unjust to mention them here, as we do not want to miss a single person who helped make our experience at the NICU so wonderful.

“Not all angels have wings. Some wear scrubs. You all truly are angels that walk this earth.”

Just. Wow. ?

We are so sorry for the family’s loss – but also so happy that little Mervat made it and will get to spend her first Christmas at home ?

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