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Heartbroken family donate lost son’s tiny clothes

Claire Briggs with an example of the small baby clothes she is collecting for the special care baby units.

Claire Briggs with an example of the small baby clothes she is collecting for the special care baby units.

CLOTHES barely big enough to fit a doll are being donated to special care baby units by a heartbroken family.

Claire and Kelvin Briggs, from Washington, were left devastated when their son, Alfie, lost his fight for life just 31 days after he was born 15 weeks early.

The family has set up a charity, Just For Alfie, to raise money to support other premature babies and their families.

With some of the funds they have bought specialised premature baby clothes, which they will donate to hospital neonatal units across the North.

Claire, 28, a University of Sunderland student, said she wants to ensure other families have access to clothes which fit their child in their grief.

She said: “The premature clothing is to be kept and used if anyone experiences the sad loss of a child on the neonatal unit.

“When I lost Alfie I got him dressed and the clothes were extremely big. It was really upsetting.

“This is why I feel so passionate about supplying the small clothes to as many neonatal units as possible.

“The clothing is going to be used by the units to supply bereaved parents with something that will fit their tiny babies.

“I am going to try to work my way around all the hospitals in the region.”

Alfie was born in November last year weighing just 1lb 7oz after Claire had to undergo an emergency Caesarean section.

At 10 days old he had minor heart surgery, his condition continued to improve and he was doing really well.

However, on December 5, the tiny youngster suddenly became ill and doctors discovered he was suffering from a serious condition, necrotizing enterocolitis, which caused his bowel to perforate.

Claire and roofer Kelvin, 25, who have two daughters Alix, five, and two-year-old Paige, were given the devastating news there was nothing more that could be done to save their son and he died in their arms.

The family, who live in Columbia, say setting up the charity in Alfie’s memory has helped them cope with their grief and they have already raised well over £4,000.

Claire said the staff at Sunderland’s Neonatal Unit were wonderful and she wants to do whatever she can to support the work they do.

Dozens of sponsored events, including a children’s disco and a sponsored toddle, have already taken place and Just For Alfie is currently planning a charity football game to be held in July.

 

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