A COUPLE devastated by the death of their baby son are celebrating the birth of a daughter.
Stacie and Martin Richardson were heartbroken when Ethan Jai died at just five days old.
Doctors knew he was suffering from kidney disease before he was delivered. When he was born at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle they found out the condition was glutaric acidemia type two which has only been recorded seven times in the world.
Since his death in April 2011, the Seaham couple and their loved ones have held a series of events in aid of Tiny Lives, which helps families with special-care babies. They have raised more than £11,000.
Now, Stacie and Martin, both 27, are celebrating the birth of a healthy daughter Alyssa Mae, who arrived four weeks early. She was born by emergency Caesarean at the RVI, weighing 6lb 10oz.
Stacie, who works as a police community support officer in Washington, went into labour at the surprise baby shower Martin had thrown for her.
She said: “We had to go through to the RVI to have tests done to see if she was suffering from the same condition as Ethan at 12 weeks into the pregnancy and didn’t get the results back until 16 weeks.
“We expected her to be in special care, but she didn’t have to be.
“I just can’t stop staring at her. I could do it all day.”
The couple’s fund-raising total for Tiny Lives looks set to rise again as more entertainment nights are planned and supporters are doing the Great North Run in Ethan’s honour.
The Richardsons are also juggling helping with a race night and a 24-hour darts marathon while caring for two-month-old Alyssa Mae.
A friend of Martin, who used to work for Yearsley in Dawdon and is now a plant labourer at Sine Organics in Seal Sands, is leading the darts event at the Times Inn on Saturday from 10am.
The race evening, which is to become an annual event after its success last year, will be on Saturday, June 30, at The Knack club in Eastlea.
Racing begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are £4 and can be bought from the bar or on the door.
Stacie added: “We want to say a thank-you to everybody that continues to support us. It makes a big difference.”
In addition to the donations page at www.justgiving.com/ethan-jai-richardson Stacie has launched the open group, Ethan’s Gift to Tiny Lives, to promote the charity’s work and the fund-raising activities.