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Helping Norfolk mums cope with loss

PUBLISHED: 07:25 26 May 2011

Mums who have been helped by the SANDS charity pictured on a day out with their children at the Dinosaur Park.; LR Gail Guy with sons Alex and Finlay, Claire Green with Taylor and Rachel Allen with daughter Katie

Mums who have been helped by the SANDS charity pictured on a day out with their children at the Dinosaur Park.; LR Gail Guy with sons Alex and Finlay, Claire Green with Taylor and Rachel Allen with daughter Katie

Archant 2011

Three mums are raising awareness of a charity that helped them through the harrowing experience of losing their unborn or newborn child.

The trio meet up to offer each other support, and all met through Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society.

Gail Guy, from Fountains Road in Tuckswood, lost her daughter Phoebe, who was born at 36 weeks with a brain tumour and lived for just 27 hours.

The mum of three boys said getting in touch with other women through Sands had helped her through a very difficult time.

The 41-year-old said: “I’m thankful I had my eldest, Cameron, at the time, he was three, because that made me get out of bed in the morning. It helps to talk to someone who is perhaps six months or a year down the line who can reassure you it does get better.”

Rachel Allen’s daughter Amy was stillborn at 39 weeks in December 2005.

The 35-year-old, from East Harling, said: “She was due on December 6, but on December 1 I hadn’t felt any movement. I built up the courage to go to the doctor, who couldn’t find a heartbeat, and then the hospital scanned me and confirmed that she had gone. I went into the delivery suite to be induced. It was pretty horrific at the time.”

She added: “However sympathetic other people are it’s impossible to imagine unless you have been through it and going on the Sands website and chatting to other women was what I needed.

“I needed to know that other people understood how I felt.”

Claire Green’s baby Harry was stillborn at 30 weeks. The 37-year-old from Scarning said: “It’s not something you tend to hear much about, so many mums-to-be don’t realise that it could happen to them.”

All three friends have since gone on to have other children, and say the charity and other mums also helped them to cope with the worries and anxieties they experienced during their subsequent pregnancies.

The Jude Brady Foundation, set up by Ipswich parents Peter and Lynn Brady in memory of their stillborn second son, is returning to Dunston Hall on Friday, June 3 to host a golf tournament and Shining Star Ball to raise funds for Sands.

For tickets, visit www.judebradyfoundation.co.uk.

For more information about Sands, visit www.uk-sands.org

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