‘WE WANTED A REASON’
Couple say charity helped them to cope with baby’s mystery death
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