This time last year, Daniel and Ali should have been looking forward to the birth of their baby, who was due on 20th August 2013.
But at just 26 weeks Ali's waters broke whilst she was at work, and she was brought to UCLH, just around the corner.
"After 3 days of care at UCLH I gave birth to our beautiful little boy Maxwell William Brathwaite on Thursday 16th May at 12:02pm, weighing 971 grams. Both Maxwell and I were doing well and the three of us spent some quality time together, all whilst our little warrior fought away against the odds. Due to complications surrounding his early arrival and difficult delivery, our beautiful little man sadly passed away in our arms on Thursday 16th May at 9.15pm, but not before giving us 9 amazing hours as his very proud parents."
Despite losing Maxwell, Ali and Daniel wanted to pay tribute to the team. "We are very fortunate to have been looked after at UCLH, one of the best neonatal units in the country. The nurses, midwives, Neonatal team and bereavement teams have all been amazing and we would like to thank them for the care and help they have offered us during this difficult time.
"We wish to share and celebrate the birth of our son Maxwell. He came into our lives, if only for a very short time, but he brought us so much joy."
To say thank you and to give just a little something back, the family have been fundraising for the last year in Maxwell’s name to raise funds for UCLH Neonatal unit and The Butterfly Fund bereavement services. This has included setting up a Just Giving page, featuring as Waitrose Community Matter's chosen charity in May 2014, plus more to come. So far they have raised in total over £7,600.
And one event in particular needs to be mentioned - a Charity football match which raised £5,000 for the UCLH Neonatal Unit.
Daniel Braithwaite plays for Chesham United and was a Watford FC trainee between 1998 and 2001. He collected his own team, managed by Nigel Gibbs (Leeds United Assistant Manager) and including Watford FC’s Lloyd Doyley plus Watford legend Luther Blissett, and other former Hornets stars Steve Palmer, Micah Hyde, Elliott Godfrey and Allan Smart, Micheal Duberry (Chelsea FC, Reading FC) and Darren Currie (Ipswich Town FC, Dagenham & Redbridge). They took on a side of current Chesham United and Hemel Hempstead Town players at Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club on 10th May 2014, watched - despite the rain - by over 600 people.
The game finished with ‘Chesham & Hemel XI’ beating Daniel’s XI by 6-4.
Harry the Hornet, Watford FC's famous mascot cheered the teams on and entertained the crowd, who also enjoyed local food, face painting, a cake sale and raffle. The day raised over £5,000 which has gone directly to the UCLH Neonatal Unit and The Butterfly Fund.
“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along and supported us, the match celebrates the memory of our beautiful son and to say a massive thank you to the nurses, midwives, neonatal and bereavement teams at UCLH who cared for us so well and do such amazing work,” said Daniel and Ali.
You can support the family at www.justgiving.com/maxwell-brathwaite