Witby Prescott Tousignant, 7 months

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PORTLAND — Witby Prescott Tousignant, 7 months, died quietly in the arms of his parents, Peter M. Tousignant and Rebeccah C. Schaffner-Sousignant on Jan. 28. He was born on June 25, 2011.

Tousignant was born with a severe congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome and died from complications of the disease.

Although he endured many surgeries and spent much of his life in the hospital, he did not allow his condition to define his life. Instead, he remained a vibrant and spirited child who taught those around him that we are meant to celebrate life and those we meet along the way.

Though only seven months old, Tousignant touched many lives. He was born a week earlier than expected and greeted the world with eyes wide open. He endured without complaint a plight that would have challenged the most poised among us. He was quick with a smile, curious about others and the world around him and actively engaged all those who met him.

Even during the most frightening times in the hospital, his beaming smile provided comfort to his loved ones and caregivers. His strength of character was undeniable and his perpetual happiness inspired others.

Through his actions, he taught those around him to be grateful for the people they love and more forgiving of others. Medical treatments sometimes inflict pain and discomfort, yet Tousignant somehow understood this, forgiving all ill moods and discomfort with a smile.

His parents are thankful beyond words for the commitment, competency, compassion and friendship of the staff at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, who became like Tousignant’s extended family. They also would like to thank their family and friends, who cheered for Tousignant every step of the way.

A memorial service was held on Feb. 4 at the First Parish Church in Portland.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made at lovewhitby.org. These contributions will assist the family with medical bills and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Maine Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

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