Grieving teenage parents sickened by cruel online slur
A GRIEVING couple who celebrated the first Christmas after the tragic death of their baby boy were left devastated after a sick online troll targeted them in the midst of their torment.
Teenagers Ellie Boyle and Ross Trousdale were heartbroken when their one-day-old baby Rogan died on October 3 this year, after traumatic surgery on his bowel.
Born six-weeks premature on October 2, the tiny boy's health rapidly deteriorated - he struggled with a hole in his bowel and was found to have E-coli in his blood, all while coping with the strong medication needed to keep him stable.
His passing left mum Ellie, 19, a hairdresser from Glasgow, Scotland and dad Ross, 18, a Subway manager from Prestwick, without their child on Christmas.
In a fitting tribute to his memory, the family rallied and bought little Rogan teddies, stockings and mementos for Christmas - objects that celebrated their brief time together in the neonatal ward at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
But respite was brief, as Ellie was targeted on Facebook by a stranger online, who accused her of boozing with pals on Christmas Eve instead of grieving.
And in a double blow, the slur was written on a Facebook post raising funds for the medics who desperately tried to save Rogan's life.
The scathing comment read: "Yet on 24th of December your getting steaming with pals. Sorry but if this was me I'd be absolutely in despair grieving. I lost someone in July 2017 and I'm still in utter heartbreak."
Ellie sent the stranger a message challenging the hurtful message as the family fought new waves of heartache.
The new mum said she spent December 24 at home with her boyfriend - but added that what she did was none of the troll's business.
But the brazen punter maintained the claims were accurate, saying her own partner had passed away earlier this year and she had "grieved every day for the past five months".
Ellie told the Scottish Sun the cruel words left the family in a state of shock.
She said: "It was really horrible - it was as if she was making out like I don't care and as though I'm raising money for myself.
"I posted on my timeline about our fundraising page and she just commented out of nowhere saying I was drunk.
"I wasn't, I came home and spent Christmas Eve with my boyfriend."
She continued: "I honestly don't know who she is or what her problem is.
"I'm just forgetting about it now - we're going to get our heads down after new year and start organising our charity nights."
In a bid to give back to staff who cared for their little one in hospital, Ellie and Ross are raising funds for the neonatal unit via a GoFundMe page and a charity night in Glasgow on March 4.
The couple are also planning a charity football match to take place in Prestwick in the new year - and have reached out to Celtic and Rangers for support.
Their time spent with baby Rogan was brief but Ellie says she will cherish it forever.
She said: "Even though our time together was small, it was actually quite a lot.
"All our family were in the room when he passed away - and we were holding him at the time. It was 1pm on October 3 so we got a whole day.
"The hospital staff were great too - they did his footprints and handprints and even got professional photos taken the day he passed away.
"A woman on Facebook also offered to do his hand and foot casting for free.
"On his funeral day we set off balloons at Lambhill cemetery, then on Christmas set off balloons again.
"We're both just trying to be brave for him."
Now Ellie and Ross keep their baby boy's memory alive in a box full of photos and objects he touched, including a clay mould of his tiny hands and feet donated by Summerston's Circle of Life casting studio.
And family say they couldn't be more proud of the way the young parents faced their grief head on.
Ellie's aunt Suzanne Boyle said: "We are extremely proud of both her and Ross. I know how much pain I was in when Rogan passed, and I know it can't be a patch on what they were feeling.
"Ellie has tried to be positive and that's why they are arranging the charity football match.
"If something good can come from Rogan's passing I think it will help her heal.
"She still has her bad days but she gets through them and tries to get on with life."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.