A HAVANT couple and their family have completed a charity walk in memory of their stillborn son.
The event was to raise money for the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society who provided support in dealing with the loss of their son Jackson.
Mother Lucy Oakey said: ‘I had a boy who was stillborn at 37 weeks. Today is about raising money and the profile of the work carried out by SANDS. The issue of infant death is often a taboo subject but it is vital we put that awareness out there.’
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‘Today is about remembering my grandson Jackson. The plan is to release a number of balloons in his memory,’ added Lucy’s father, Raymond Oakey.
Lucy referred to the walk as ‘a mile in my shoes’ to reflect Jackson’s final journey.
‘The walk will end at Warblington Cemetary where we laid Jackson to rest,’ explained Lucy.
Lucy and partner Luke Merrick, Jackson’s father, were joined by over twenty family members and friends including cousins, aunts and uncles.
Lucy’s sister, Kellie Oakey, said: ‘We have already surpassed our online target of two hundred pounds and the the aim now is to reach at least double that.’
The family are keen to raise money for SANDS so that other families can benefit from support they received.
‘After we lost Jackson, SANDS came to the hospital to provide support. They do an invaluable job offering meetings every month, a helpline and provide counselling to anyone who has been affected by infant loss,’ explained Lucy.
The family feel further research is required into underlying causes of stillbirths.
According to the SANDS website, the most recent figures taken from 2016 showed around 15 babies died before, during or soon after birth every day in the UK. In the UK in 2015, one in every 227 births was a stillbirth, and there were 3,434 stillbirths in total. which accounts for around nine babies stillborn every day.
‘I didn’t know the situation regarding Jackson until I went into hospital and gave birth. It is quite shocking that we still don’t know what causes it. Some people don’t ever get the answers as to what has happened,’ explained Lucy.
Since the trauma of losing Jackson, Lucy and Luke have welcomed the arrival of Jackson’s sister, seven month old Penny who Lucy refers to as her ‘rainbow baby’.
‘Jackson will never be forgotten. When people ask I always say I had two children,’ said Lucy.