A MUM is preparing to jump 15,000ft out of a plane in memory of her son who was stillborn.
Tracey Downie, 40, named her baby son Ethan after he was stillborn in May 2009.
Since then, Tracey and her family have been trying to raise awareness and raise money for Sands – the charity that provides support for bereaved families.
Tracey, her husband Adrian, daughter Sophia and some of their friends will all be jumping out of a plane this summer.
Tracey, from Kennedy Close in Purbrook, said losing her son was a terrible time for the whole family.
‘It’s really hard to put into words. There was an overwhelming emotion of shock,’ she said.
‘I went for a routine midwife appointment and there was no heartbeat. It just went from there.’
Tracey was 37 weeks pregnant at the time.
‘You never get over it,’ she said. ‘I’m still not quite used to talking about it. It was the loneliest of times. I couldn’t go out of the house. I just didn’t want to be here.’
The charity is carrying out research into stillborn and neonatal deaths.
On average, 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth in the UK every day in the UK. That’s around 6,500 babies a year.
And 60 per cent of those deaths are unexplained.
The group will take part in the skydive on two different dates – Saturday, July 27, and Saturday, August 10, at Salisbury Plains.
‘I thought skydiving is a bit different,’ added Tracey.
‘I just asked about and quite a few people were interested.
‘I’m absolutely petrified. I never imagined that I would be doing a parachute jump but I feel as though I need to do something in memory of Ethan and to raise awareness.
‘The SANDS group were fantastic. Without them I don’t know if I would still be here.
‘It was just being able to talk to people who knew what I was feeling.
‘The forum was really good for me because it meant I could just sit at home on the computer and read things and not talk to people face to face.’
Adrian has run the Great South Run for the past four years to raise money and raise awareness of Sands.
To make a donation, please visit justgiving.com/teams/skydiveforangels.
To find out more about Sands, visit uk-sands.org.