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Grieving mother receives unexpected gift from Fairy Godmother

Posted April 19

ORLANDO — A grieving mother received an unexpected dash of magic from her very own fairy godmother.

Janice and Stefan Murphy were heartbroken when their newborn daughter, Analiese, passed away earlier this year, according to Today. Their baby was born with Trisomy 10 Q — a disorder that hinders the development of vital organs crucial for survival.

While doctors didn’t expect Analiese to survive the womb, the baby lived for just over an hour after her birth, Today reports.

Just a month after their baby’s death, the couple traveled to Orlando for work. When a friend gave Janice tickets to Disney World, she decided to go to the park while her husband was in meetings. But she didn’t go alone. She brought along a very special purple teddy bear that held her daughter’s ashes inside.

“Analiese has changed my life, forever, in every way,” Murphy told Today.

Murphy spent the day riding her favorites attractions with her daughter, taking her to meet her favorite characters and thinking about the baby she’d lost too soon. No one mentioned anything about the purple teddy bear she clutched in her arms.

“We all just went about our business as though it was perfectly normal to see an adult woman carrying a purple bear in a onesie around,” she said.

But that changed when Murphy spotted Fairy Godmother outside Cinderella’s castle and wandered over to say hello. Within seconds, the Fairy Godmother asked her about her little bear.

When Murphy explained the teddy bear actually held the ashes of her beloved baby girl, Fairy Godmother immediately asked if she could hold the bear and suggested they take a picture together.

“She was still smiling and doing her job as a Disney employee, but her compassion and empathy for my situation was overwhelming,” Murphy told Today. “After we finished, I walked over to the fountain behind the castle and just sat and cried a little. She was the only person to ask about Analiese, and in doing so, she made the biggest difference to me.”

Murphy was so moved by the woman’s kindness that she took to Facebook to write her an open letter of thanks.

“You treated her the same way you treat every child that comes to see you every single day: with love, compassion and kindness,” she wrote. “When you hugged her, and kissed her cheek, you made me feel like Analiese mattered to you.”

The post, which includes photos of Murphy and her Fairy Godmother with the bear, has been shared more than 33,000 times. She said that while it’s unlikely, she hopes her special friend will see her words and understand how much her actions meant to a grieving mother.

“I will always remember you, and how you hugged and loved on my daughter as if she was like any other child,” Murphy continued. “You helped me feel her spirit in a place she was never able to visit while alive.”

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.

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