‘WE WANTED A REA­SON’

Cou­ple say char­ity helped them to cope with baby’s mys­tery death

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - MAR­CUS HUGHES Re­porter mar­cus.hughes@waleson­line.co.uk

AMOTHER whose daugh­ter was still­born has de­scribed her strug­gle to ac­cept that she will never know the cause of her baby’s death. Loys Richards, from Brid­gend, gave birth to Poppy El­iz­a­beth Har­ris on Satur­day, April 29, this year af­ter a long preg­nancy with­out com­pli­ca­tion.

But she and her part­ner Lloyd Har­ris, 34, were rushed to the Princess of Wales Hospi­tal in Brid­gend earlier that day af­ter a mid­wife was un­able to find the baby’s heart­beat dur­ing a sched­uled visit.

“We went to the hospi­tal not re­ally know­ing what was wrong,” Loys, 38, said.

“We were wor­ried be­cause it was the first time some­one had not been able to find the heart­beat.”

Fur­ther tests car­ried out at the hospi­tal also failed to find the in­fant’s pulse and the cou­ple were in­formed that Poppy had passed away.

“At that point my part­ner just broke down and I looked at him but he said it looked like I wasn’t there,” she said.

“It took me about five min­utes and I was look­ing at him walk­ing about the room mak­ing phone calls.

“It was like I wasn’t in my body. I think some­times when you are in a trau­matic sit­u­a­tion it’s your brain’s way of try­ing to cope.”

Poppy was born by Cae­sarean sec­tion, but doctors were un­able to find any ini­tial in­di­ca­tion of what had taken her life.

A sub­se­quent par­tial post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion de­liv­ered re­sults to her par­ents in early Au­gust but also failed to find a cause of death.

“We don’t know what hap­pened and that’s been ex­tremely hard to ac­cept,” Loys said.

“We wanted a rea­son I guess be­cause we thought it would make it eas­ier if we knew what hap­pened.

“We just had to ac­cept it re­ally. We couldn’t do any­thing about it.”

She added: “A con­sul­tant did ex­plain that if there is a ge­netic risk then we can­not take that away next time. If there’s no rea­son there’s a bet­ter chance for next time.”

Fol­low­ing their trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence the cou­ple con­tacted still­birth and neona­tal death char­ity Sands, which of­fers be­reave­ment sup­port through a tele­phone helpline and on­line fo­rum.

In Au­gust they or­gan­ised a char­ity walk up Pen y Fan, rais­ing more than £2,500 for the char­ity Loys said she would have felt “com­pletely lost” with­out.

The bank where Lloyd works is ex­pected to do­nate a fur­ther £1,000 in spon­sor­ship.

She said: “We wanted to raise aware­ness that this does hap­pen and for peo­ple not to feel on their own.

“You do feel no­tice­ably iso­lated when you are try­ing to deal with it. Know­ing that you aren’t alone is a great com­fort.”

About 25 peo­ple took part in the walk up the moun­tain which ended with Loys and Lloyd plac­ing a peb­ble on the peak in mem­ory of their daugh­ter.

The walk­ers who went up Pen y Fan in Au­gust to raise money for still­birth and neona­tal char­ity Sands

Lloyd Har­ris and Loys Richards have raised money for Sands fol­low­ing the still­birth of their daugh­ter Poppy

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