Head­stone for baby Ju­lian

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By FLORENCE KERR

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.’’

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