Campaigning mum nominated for award

PROUD PARENTS: Susan Jackson with husband Stephen and daughter Ella.
PROUD PARENTS: Susan Jackson with husband Stephen and daughter Ella.
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AN inspirational Wearside mum has been nominated for a national award.

Susan Jackson has raised almost £25,000 for research into pregnancy complications after the death of her daughter four years ago.

The 31-year-old, from Hetton, was nominated for the Tommy’s Arla Inspirational Mum Award by her husband Stephen for the dedication and commitment she has shown in supporting the charity since they lost one of their twin daughters to stillbirth in June 2010.

Susan was having a “textbook pregnancy” with identical twins Ella and Evie when, at 34 weeks, a scan showed one of the twins had died.

The twins had to be delivered straight away at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Evie, who was stillborn, weighed 3lb 11oz and Ella was born weighing 4lb 11oz, without any health problems.

Susan said: “My pregnancy was so straightforward – despite carrying twins I had no sickness, I was never off work, we passed every stage and scan without problems.

“It was a textbook pregnancy.

“When we heard the news and had to deliver Ella and Evie it was so hard to get our heads around it – we were grieving for one baby and grateful that we had another baby here with us.

“We had incredibly mixed emotions.”

Evie’s post-mortem examination revealed a complication affecting the blood flow to her brain, a condition which usually affects babies after 36 weeks, and medics were unable to explain why it had developed so early.

The grieving mum discovered Tommy’s, which funds medical research into pregnancy complications that cause stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth, and started raising money in aid of them and a local counselling charity.

Since then, Susan’s fund-raising has gone from strength to strength, and she now runs craft fairs, tea parties, charity cricket matches and even organised a Christmas shopping trip.

The whole community has got behind her in supporting the fund-raising.

Stephen said: “Finding Tommy’s gave Susan strength after our loss and she started fund-raising to help other parents, who might have the same experiences as us.

“Her events bring the whole community together and she’s always finding new ways to fund-raise.

“She does not realise what an inspiration she is to me, to our daughter Ella and to everyone around us, which is why I nominated her for this award.”

Susan said: “Fund-raising is so important to me as there needs to be more research into problems in pregnancy.

“If the money we raise can help prevent just one baby from being lost, that’s enough of a motivation.”

The winners of the Tommy’s Awards will be announced in March.