Flowers in memory of lost babies

Ashleigh Corker, Jill Mackey and Sarah Hunt with their children promoting a Forget me Knot event in Herrington Country Park.

Ashleigh Corker, Jill Mackey and Sarah Hunt with their children promoting a Forget me Knot event in Herrington Country Park.

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BEREAVED families hit by tragedy can remember their loved ones at a special event this weekend.

The Forget-Me-Not plant sale, which is being organised by the Durham and Wearside branch of Sands, the stillborn and neonatal death charity, will be held in Herrington Country Park on Sunday.

Ashleigh Corker, secretary of the branch, said the event will be a day for all members of the family to remember the baby they lost.

Ashleigh, 42, of Great Lumley, was 39 weeks into her pregnancy with second son Thomas when doctors at the University Hospital of North Durham revealed the devastating news that her baby had died, something she just didn’t imagine happening at such a late stage in her pregnancy.

She said: “The loss of a baby is like no other. It goes against the natural order to lose your child.

“I can’t describe what it feels like to be in labour and be preparing a funeral at the same time.”

Ashleigh and her husband Colin, who are also parents to James, six, and three-year-old twins Elizabeth and Samuel, turned to Sands for support and are now giving that support to other people in their grief.

She said events such as the flower sale are a way of raising awareness and giving people who have lost a child, even if it was decades ago, the opportunity to meet others.

The Forget-Me-Not sale will be held from 11am to 3pm and people can plant the flowers in the memorial park or take them home to plant in their own gardens.

On average 11 babies are stillborn (die after the 24th week of pregnancy) and six babies die neonatally (within the first four weeks of life) every day in the UK.

Sands was established by bereaved parents in 1981 and the three core aims are to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, to work in partnership with health professionals to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families and to promote research and changes in practice that could help to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.

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