Headstone for baby Julian
After almost two years of heartbreak, Julie Jeffery has something to smile about.
Last week South Waikato News reported the heartbreak that Ms Jeffery went through after suffering the loss of her son Julian who was stillborn in Waikato Hospital. Ms Jeffery received baby Julian’s body back from the Waikato Hospital mortuary in a seethrough plastic body bag in bloodstained clothes. The Waikato District Health Board has since apologised to Ms Jeffery.
Then last month Ms Jeffery discovered Julian’s headstone had been stolen.
The healing process has now begun for Ms Jeffery, who has received wonderful news from South Waikato Funeral Services manager Derek Mossman, who, along with Waikato Stone Craft manager Craig Robinson, will erect a new headstone for Julian before Christmas, free of charge.
Ms Jeffery burst into tears when she found out the news.
‘‘This is overwhelming. It’s a silver lining on what has been a pretty crap year.’’
Mr Mossman said he had read the story in the paper and wanted to do something for Ms Jeffery.
‘‘I spoke to Craig Robinson from Waikato Stone Craft in Hamilton and we wanted to help Julie after reading the story. What has happened here is nothing short of sacrilege; a stone is seen by many cultures as tapu, it recognises the life of someone that has passed.’’
Mr Mossman, who has been an anchor for many families who have lost a loved one, said this type of theft was very rare in the district.
‘‘I have never seen or heard of this type of theft happening. We have a great sense of community in our district which is why I am absolutely disgusted.
‘‘Both Craig and I are more than happy to help out Julie and this is an avenue [where] we can.’’
A teary-eyed Ms Jeffery said it had been the strength of those around her that had kept her going.
‘‘Thank you Derek and Craig from the bottom of my heart; this is so unexpected.
‘‘I would like to thank my family and friends for their support and the South Waikato News for telling my story. Most importantly, to my son Julian, I will always love you.’’