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Brave couple skydive in memory of stillborn son
HAVING suffered the overwhelming heartbreak of their son being stillborn one Hampshire husband and wife team are plunging from a plane to fund vital research to prevent other deaths and to support grieving families.
Adrian and Tracey Downie never got the chance to see their son Ethan take his first breath or hear him cry after he was tragically stillborn four years ago.
But after being helped through their grief by charity Sands the brave couple are taking on the Skydive for Angels this weekend to ensure that vital support is there for other families left devastated by the death of their newborn.
They will be joined by a team of family and friends for the special event and have already raised £12,000 in memory of Ethan and the 6,000 babies who are stillborn or die within the first weeks of their young lives.
Adrian, who works in Fareham, said: “Ethan’s death has affected my wife and I and my two daughters in a way that is almost beyond words and we struggle still, to this day. Rarely a day goes by when I am not reduced to tears through thinking of what happened.
“Jumping out of a plane is a small thing compared to the anguish my wife suffered when she was told that the baby that she was still carrying had died and that she would have to go home and come back three days later to deliver our dead son.
“We left hospital with nothing but grief and sadness, we never heard our son breathe or cry, and never had the chance to see him grow up.”
The team will be jumping from a plane today at Go skydive Salisbury between 10am and 12pm.
Tracey added: “The charity Sands provides an invaluable service. They have a national helpline and over 100 support groups across the UK, helping families like ours when the unimaginable happens.
“They are also working with governments and health bodies to create a UK-wide strategy to prevent so many babies dying and to help fund vital research into saving babies’ lives.”
To sponsor the Skydive for Angels team visit justgiving.com/teams/skydiveforangels.
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