‘We will never forget our boys’: Tory minister Guy Opperman pens moving tribute to newborn twin sons Teddy and Rafe after they died in hospital
- Tory MP for Hexham said he and wife Flora’s boys, Teddy and Rafe, died last week
- He made tragic announcement on Twitter including quote of a Buddhist concept
- He said the first born Teddy ‘came and went from this world quickly and quietly’
- He added: ‘Our younger twin, Rafe, was not born until Tuesday, but died that day’
A government minister has written a moving tribute to his newborn twin sons who have died in hospital.
Guy Opperman, Conservative MP for Hexham, Northumberland, said he and his wife Flora’s boys, Teddy and Rafe, died last week.
In a series of tweets, which included a quote of a Buddhist concept of the nature of life and death, Mr Opperman said Teddy ‘came and went from this world quickly and quietly’.
He added: ‘Our younger twin, Rafe, was not born until Tuesday 23, but died later that day in NeoNatal ICU. Baby loss, and coping with grief, is very hard.’
Guy Opperman, Conservative MP for Hexham, Northumberland, said he and his wife Flora’s boys, Teddy and Rafe, died last week
The pensions minister, who battled a brain tumour in 2011, continued: ‘Nothing we could do. Just a horrible tragedy.
‘We emerged from hospital a week ago shell shocked. We have taken some time out to recover.
‘I am back at work part time, but bear with me. We will come through this, but will always miss our boys.’
The 55-year-old wrote: ‘The loss of our younger twin Rafe was particularly acute. He lived and died within a long day. But we treasure our time with him in Neonatal ICU.
‘We were able to tell him of all our hopes and dreams for him, and our family; but he could not make it and died in Flora’s arms.’
He expressed the couple’s gratitude to the NHS doctors and nurses who tried to save the twins.
The family is working with the charity Sands, which helps families coping with the grief of baby loss, and said they will establish a ‘small fund to support research that will prevent other families experiencing the same pain’.
Referring to the Buddhist concept of life and death being like a wave, he said: ‘The Wave quote is a good description of this awful process, and an acceptance of life passing.
‘You never regret trying to have children. Sometimes baby loss happens. We will never forget our boys. They will be with us always. Just sadly only in their spirit and their memory.’
Mr Opperman, who was born in Wiltshire and educated at Harrow School, was elected to Parliament in 2010.
He has previously described himself as ‘rather on the left’ of the Conservatives and called for them to do more to help ‘the hard working people in our public sector’.
Just a year after being made an MP, Mr Opperman was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
In an article for the Daily Mail at the time, the former jockey said ‘it was not what I was expecting’ at the aged 45, adding: ‘A brain tumour. That was what the doctor was telling me was wrong with me. I felt the colour drain out of me.’
He said he was numb with fear and shock’ when a young doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital in London told him he would need two operations to remove the 2in lump and there was a two to three per cent chance of death.
He spent two weeks there before being transferred to the National Neurological Hospital in Queen Square, Central London.
Mr Opperman’s two operations were a success and two days later tests results showed his tumour was benign.
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