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Parents want baby exhumed from Romsey cemetery
A YOUNG couple are considering exhuming their baby’s remains from a Hampshire cemetery because of their heartbreaking experiences there.
Cassandra Marshall and fiancé William Elkins buried their child Faith, who only survived for ten hours, at Woodley Cemetery in Romsey last summer.
Since the funeral ornaments left on Faith’s grave have been vandalised and on several occasions the couple say they have been harassed by council staff who did not believe them to be grieving parents.
They have now obtained forms to apply to the Winchester Diocese to remove their daughter, cremate her and keep the urn at their home.
Cassandra, 21, of Abbotswood Close, Romsey, said: “It just completely throws you.
Just when you think you are getting OK about going up there to see your child buried, something happens. It chucks you back down again.
“William and I are trying to see whether we can get Faith exhumed and cremated.
“It’s got to that point where I don’t want to go up there.”
Faith was born on May 26 last year with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which affects one in 2,500 babies in the UK.
It means that the diaphragm does not form properly allowing organs to migrate into the chest and stop the lungs work properly.
Cassandra and William visit her grave, marked by a wooden cross every evening after William, 26, finishes work at Romsey School.
Faith’s grave has solar-powered pink lights, lanterns and candles around it because Cassandra cannot bear to leave her daughter in the dark, but these lights have been dismantled on occasions and the lantern has been smashed.
They claim to have been approached on more than one occasion by council workers running the cemetery to ask what they are doing there.
The first time this happened they say two staff asked them why they were there so late and accused them of smoking and having drugs at the graveside.
Cassandra said: “When they left I just burst into tears. I could not believe somebody would come up to grieving parents and be so rude.”
She added: “I like the fact that there are people up there doing a job and looking after the headstones.
“But it seems to me that just because William and I are the youngest ones up there, they’re discriminating against us because we’re young kids so we must be up to no good.”
A spokesman for Test Valley Borough Council, which manages the site, said: “Maintenance teams will often be present at cemeteries in the council’s care.
“Our staff always aim to be polite and respectful to anyone.”
• For more information on support for parents whose child has CDH visit ukcherubs.co.uk.
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