Family raise £22,000 in memory of baby Jack
Dumbarton parents support Scottish Cot DeathTrust
A Dumbarton family whose newborn baby boy died suddenly have dedicated their lives to helping a charity which offers support to other heartbroken parents who have suffered the same tragic loss.
Nicola and Scott Miller were left devastated when they woke to find their three-week-old son Jack dead in his cot.
Their baby boy was born on October 2, 2011 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley - but a short time later, the couple were left with agonising questions as he seemed to have died for no reason.
In the days after his death, Nicola and Scott learned Jack died of SIDS – sudden infant death syndrome – which affects around 300 babies in the UK every year.
Through their grief, they were put in touch with the Scottish Cot Death Trust – a charity which offers support to bereaved families and educates the public and professionals about cot death and how to reduce the risks.
It also works to fund research to give parents answers into why babies die and how to prevent future deaths.
Nicola, 34, and Scott, 35, began raising cash to help fund this research, and over the years it has become a labour of love for the couple and their family, who have all banded together to collect more than £22,000 – all in memory of little Jack.
Alongside Nicola’s parents Jane, 60, and Robert Collins, 61, and their 11-year-old daughter Christina, Nicola and Scott have dedicated so much of their time to help raise awareness of cot death.
Nicola opened her heart to the Lennox Herald about her quest to teach more people about the sudden and inexplicable condition which took her son – who would have turned six last Monday.
She said: “I didn’t know anything about cot death before we lost Jack.
“I didn’t even know it existed. Now I just want to raise as much awareness of it as I can.
“We wanted to do as much as we could to help them because the Trust have been so fantastic to us and Christina.
“We want to help fund research to try and find out why this kind of thing happens.
“We just feel that the more we raise then the more it helps families like us who have been through this tragedy.
“The girls based within the Scottish Cot Death Trust have given us so much support, just in knowing that they are there at the other end of the phone if we need them, is an amazing support network.”
Scott and Nicola were given no indication that there was anything wrong with Jack before he died.
The couple had put the newborn to bed and around 2.30am dad Scott woke to give him a bottle.
It wasn’t until they woke six hours later that they realised something was horribly wrong.
Nicola continued: “Jack was just a normal wee boy. There was nothing wrong with him and there were no signs at all that anything was going to happen to him.
“Scott got up to give Jack his night feed. He took his bottle as normal and it wasn’t until the morning that we realised something was wrong.
“It was all a blur. I remember calling 999 straight away and the paramedics came quite quickly to try and revive him but it was too late. “It was horrific. I was just hysterical.” As part of their fundraising efforts, Nicola and her family are organising a Christmas fayre from 11am-3pm on November 4 at the Dumbarton Masonic Hall.
This will be the fifth time they have organised the event, and Nicola and her mum Jane – who are both registered fundraisers for the Scottish Cot Death Trust – have spent months making crafts to sell.
Jack’s sister Christina also does her bit to help out by taking scenic photographs and making calendars which they also sell.
Nicola’s dad Robert added: “They work so hard. They don’t just hold the Christmas fayre every year, they also go round other events in the Vale, Dumbarton and Helensburgh to sell things.
“My wife and daughter spend so much time making jewellery, photo frames and knitting things to sell. They are both registered fundraisers for the charity. Christina is amazing too.
“We all do out bit to help and over the years we have raised just over £22,000. It’s such an important cause for us and we get a lot of support from so many people.
“So many local businesses and people have helped us raise the money over the years.
“It really is a big family thing to us. It means a lot.”
Siblings Christina holding little brother Jack after he was born in 2011 Close family Nicola and Scott on holiday with daughter Christina