South Florida boy writes book for sister who passed away

Well-known local artist provides illustrations for 'My Sister is a Butterfly'

MIAMI – There is a touching tribute from a young South Florida boy whose little sister was born prematurely and died when she was just a week old.

He wrote a children's book in her memory and a well-known local artist provided the illustrations.

When Aidan Scully's sister, Taylor, was born in July 2012, she was several weeks premature with serious health problems.

"It was really hard for me because I've always wanted a sibling to be able to play with," Aidan said.

Aidan, too young to visit her in the hospital, sent his picture and colored drawings to keep her company. After 10 days, Taylor passed away.

"I think one of the most difficult things for me was Aidan didn't get to meet her," said Kathy Ross-Scully, Aidan's mother.

At a memorial for Taylor, the family released butterflies in her honor, but wherever Aidan went, a butterfly was never far.

"I said, 'Oh look, it's Taylor,' and that made me feel very happy," Aidan said. "Then I thought that maybe if I tell people about my story, it would make them happy if they had a loss."

Aidan started sharing stories with his mother, who wrote them down. His mom realized her child's words could help other kids dealing with loss.

A year after Taylor's death, the family met artist David Lebatard, or "Lebo," and felt an immediate connection to his work. It wasn't long before the artist agreed to illustrate Aidan's story.

"I think we can all take the gifts that we have and share them with other people, easing suffering," Lebatard said.

The story, which is called "My Sister is a Butterfly," has a simple lesson.

"Reach out and hug and love the family that you have," Kathy Ross-Scully said.

"Even on the way over a butterfly passed our car," Aidan said. "I knew it was Taylor saying, 'Hi.'"

The book is available online, but Aidan's hope is to get it into hospitals and therapists' offices, where it could help other children. He's already donated money from other projects to charities in his sister's name.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.