Life can change for ever.
On the 19th March 2004, my daughter gave birth do a lovely little girl - Kira Louise. I was so excited. I had other grandchildren of course and they are an unending delight to me. But they are the children of my son’s, this was the first child of my daughter, my youngest child. She was also at the time, the only grandchild that was local to me. The others live hundreds of miles away.
That weekend was also Mothering Sunday, so I with delight and excitement, I bought my daughter her first Mothers Day card and a little present from her daughter.
Eight years ago today, in the early hours of the morning, my daughter came into my bedroom crying for help “my baby’s not breathing” she said. I snapped out of my sleep and tried to resuscitate the baby. The rest of that night is a blur of panic, hope and then numbness and disbelief. The hospital could not revive her.
This was “cot death” visiting my family and leaving us bereft and looking for answers that cannot be fully answered.
The post mortem did not find any cause for her just stopping breathing. The subsequent inquest recorded a sudden unexplained death. This leaves so much unresolved grief, no one to blame, no one to explain how it could have happened. What do you do with those questions? What do you do with the natural anger and despair that follows?
This event has changed me, my daughter and the rest of my family in ways that could never have been envisaged. My daughter, as you can imagine sunk into depths that were so deep I was afraid I was going to lose her as well. Even now, all this time later, I can feel Kira snuggle up to me little nibbles into my neck as I gave her a good night cuddle, not knowing that this would be the last time I would have that delightful pleasure.
It was after this that I found the organisation The Foundation for the Study of Infant Death (FSID). They have been a source of help, comfort and inspiration to me and my family. They have, over the last 40 years worked tirelessly, not only supporting the bereaved, but working with professionals to promote healthy and safe environments for babies. They also fund research into the factors and causes of Sudden Infant Death. The incidence of “cot death” has been reduced by an incredible 65% over the past 20 years. An estimated 19,000 babies lives have been saved. Look at those figures again. Amazing isn’t it?
However, there are still 300 families every year who wake up to a day without their baby. 300 families every year whose lives change for ever in a (stopped) heartbeat.
Since that awful day 8 years ago, I have become involved in supporting the charity, both in volunteering, finding out more about the phenomena and raising money to help them with funding research, educating families and professionals as well as supporting the bereaved. This grief does not abate. I have met mothers who lost a child to cot death up to 40 years ago, they cry and show the pain of this even today.
This does not mean that we, the bereaved live in sadness and despair. Most try to do something to help to prevent others experiencing such devastation.
What can you do?
Well, in around 3 weeks time, I’m going to attempt my 7th Marathon. A little matter of a jog around London. You can help that effort by sponsoring me, any amount will do it, it doesn’t have to be large amounts, small ones build up. Knowing you care, knowing that my effort will go someway toward preventing another family being left wondering why....................
Please click on the link on the right side of this page to take you to my Justgiving page.
Thank you so much
Guest Post | Festival Volunteering - What has astonished me about the knitting and crochet community (since my first tentative attendance at a knit and natter night in the Royal Oak Oxford way...
2 months ago