Mum-of-six Deb Larcombe, 52, was devastated when she was told the heart-breaking news that one of her unborn twins had an extra chromosome that meant he was unlikely to survive his first day.
There was a 95% chance little Jeremy would die before her due date, which also meant there was a high chance of losing his unborn sister Taylah Smith since he lay above her in the womb.
But she now believes her son hung on to life until the birth date so that he could save his sister’s life – creating a link between the twins that went beyond his tragic death at just one hour and 20 minutes old.
Now Deb has revealed a picture of eight-year-old Taylah with a glowing shape by her head which she believes could be the spirit of little Jeremy remaining by her side.
The snap was taken as Deb, from Queensland, Australia, prepared to wed Wayne Larcombe, 45.
She said: “We were at my parents’ house and Wayne and I were getting married that week but it was a surprise – no one else knew.
“So we asked my daughter Shanelle King-Massey, 21, to take some pictures of the family since the date would be quite important to us – I wanted some nice photos of my children and grandchildren.
“But she didn’t realise I was going to use ours as a wedding photo.
“After seeing the picture of the glowing face next to Taylah, people have kept telling me that Jeremy wanted to be in the picture.
“It’s very special to me. We have a small version of it up but I want to get a large version put in a frame on the wall.
“All the pictures from that day seem to have something in them. It is like there is a light moving around Taylah – and I think it could be Jeremy.
“If he is there it’s as a friend and it’s nice to know he is nearby, watching over his sister.
“Shanelle says she didn’t see anything in them when she took them and even now when I have told her [what we have seen] she thought it was a bit freaky. But she says she hasn’t done any editing of them to create it.
“She can see the things in the photos but doesn’t really want to believe in them as she finds it quite scary. She was only 14 when we lost Jeremy so she finds it hard to accept.
“But I take comfort in the thought it’s him. Ever since Taylah was born we talked about Jeremy.
“Sadly we never got photos of them together. I held him in my arms until he passed away and only got one photo of him alive.
“It would mean a lot to me to think that here is a picture of him and Taylah still together in a way, with him staying by her.”
Deb fell pregnant in November 2007 and was excited to be having her fifth child – and even more delighted when she found out she was having twins.
However due to a brain haemorrhage in 2005, doctors were worried about the toll having twins would have on her and planned a caesarean birth, as well as monitoring Deb closely throughout the nine months.
But 14 weeks into her pregnancy, she was told the devastating news that Jeremy suffered from Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards’ Syndrome, a serious genetic condition in which there is an additional chromosome in some or all of the body’s cells.
Depending on the severity, around one in every 12 babies born with the syndrome will survive beyond their first year and will suffer severe physical and mental disabilities.
Sadly, Jeremy had a section of his brain missing and major heart issues due to the condition which meant doctors didn’t think he would survive the full term.
Deb said: “I was told there was a 95% chance he would die during pregnancy and only a 5% chance to survive until he was born – but he did.
“The news was devastating to me. The thought of losing either of my babies was heart-breaking.
“With each weekly hospital visit for check up ultrasounds I would go in not knowing if Jeremy was going to be alive or if he had passed away. Watching for that sign of life each time was such a hard experience.
“Once I reached the 20 week mark in my pregnancy the thought of losing Jeremy before birth became a lot more frightening. We knew he was positioned above Taylah in my womb and that if he miscarried now there was a very high chance of him causing Taylah to miscarry with him.
“It was then I became very scared and I really wanted him to live and ensure he could help his sister be born safely.
“And he was a little person – I desperately wanted to meet him and not have him die inside me.
“I was so thankful I got to meet him and spend that one hour and 20 minutes with him. His father and I took turns cradling him.
“Then Taylah was born healthy at 5lb 10oz but Jeremy was just 2lb 7oz. I believe he may have held on for Taylah – he protected her.
“Doctors were very worried about me. Afterwards, once Taylah was born healthy doctors admitted they didn’t think I would leave the hospital with a baby.
“It’s a miracle I left with her and I believe Jeremy played a part in that.”
Deb believes that Jeremy’s will to hold on to save his sister and what the pair went through together may have created an unbreakable bond between the twins that still exists.
The incredible image, which was captured on September 3 last year, shows Taylah sat holding her three-month-old niece Nova, alongside nephews Haydyn, six, and Jayce, three.
Deb said: “Once when Taylah was two I was in bed and I heard her keep giggling and looking in the mirror. When I asked her what she was laughing at she said it was Jeremy.
“I didn’t want to ask her more about it as she was very young and it might scare her. It was very weird though as she was only a toddler.
“She has always had a concept of death due to having lots of pets who had died so she has seen death quite a lot more than other children.
“But it was very weird as she clearly thought she was talking to Jeremy.
“I am always happy to talk about the picture and about anything to do with the birth and death of Jeremy. It makes me feel close to him talking about him and it is the same with this photo.
“I am eager to share it and see what people think. Wayne is the same, he finds the picture very interesting and happy to hear what other people see in it.
“I take a lot of comfort in thinking he is still around us. Taylah is now a very bright girl, enjoying primary school and she still thinks about him often.”
Deb – who is also mum to Joshua, 31, Ashley 30 and Sharlie, 26 – broke up with Taylah and Jeremy’s father in 2014 and while she had known Wayne as a friend for five years already, the pair got married last year in September.
Deb said: “When people ask how many children I have I always say six children – I have to include Jeremy.”