“It was worse than we could ever have imagined” – mother’s pain as two-year-old twins spend Christmas in hospital

Ethan Messenger on Christmas Day. Photo: Aimee Messenger.

Ethan Messenger on Christmas Day. Photo: Aimee Messenger. - Credit: Archant

A mother has told of her 'worst Christmas ever' as her two-year-old twin boys spent Christmas Day in hospital.

Ethan Messenger on Christmas Day. Photo: Aimee Messenger.

Ethan Messenger on Christmas Day. Photo: Aimee Messenger. - Credit: Archant

Cohen and Ethan Messenger, from Lowestoft, spent the festive period together at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

The Journal previously reported how the arrival of a life-changing wheelchair for Cohen, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was overshadowed with the news Ethan would spend Christmas critically ill in hospital. In October, Ethan was rushed to hospital after experiencing intestinal problems.

A series of operations followed which removed his large intestine and left only 70cm of his small intestine.

Parents Aimee and Kirstie Messenger with Cohen and Ethan during the fundraising campaign for Cohen's

Parents Aimee and Kirstie Messenger with Cohen and Ethan during the fundraising campaign for Cohen's wheelchair. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ethan has been left unable to eat and walk and will rely on a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

The family had prepared themselves for Christmas morning without Ethan and mother Kirstie, who has been sleeping at the hospital since he was admitted.


You may also want to watch:


However, on December 21, Cohen took a turn for the worse.

Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with their sons Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: C

Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with their sons Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family. - Credit: Archant

He was taken to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, with bronchitis and pneumonia.

Most Read

The following day he was transferred to NNUH and placed on a ward 'within walking distance' of Ethan.

His mother Aimee Messenger said: 'We wanted the twins back together over Christmas but not like this – it was worse than we could ever have imagined.

'To have not one, but two sick babies in hospital on Christmas was the worst pain imaginable. It's been horrendous.'

On Christmas Day, Aimee travelled with the couple's four older children to the hospital so they could celebrate as a family.

She said: 'We had been planning to surprise the other children as Ethan was going to be allowed home for a few hours on Christmas.

'In the end the children ate Christmas lunch sat in the hospital playroom.'

Cohen is expected to be discharged within the next few weeks while Ethan will remain in hospital until March.

The twins were born 15 weeks premature and have experienced health issues all their lives.

An appeal has been launched to help raise funds for a new £1,200 pram needed to carry all the equipment Ethan will rely on once discharged.

Anyone who would like to help with the appeal for Ethan's new pram can make a donation at www.gofundme.com/IfAnyoneCanEthanCan

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter