‘Close to my heart’ - Footballer gives award money to bereavement suite at hospital
PUBLISHED: 16:25 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:34 12 October 2020
A footballer hopes to raise awareness of a Norfolk hospital’s bereavement suite for parents who have lost their children after losing his elder brother.
King’s Lynn Town defender Aaron Jones has expressed his support for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) Maternity Bereavement Suite after winning the Vanarama Man of the Match award in the club’s home game against Yeovil Town on Saturday, October 3.
The footballer, who has had his £200 award match-funded by Richard Whiley and Katharine Cross of the Traditional Media Agency, hopes to highlight the King’s Lynn hospital’s project after losing his older brother Jay Jones as a premature baby in October 1992.
His parents Albert and Mandy Jones set up the Jay Jones Charity for Sick Children in his brother’s memory to support families and children in need of care and medical help.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Norwich city centre, said: “It’s really close to my heart and the pain and suffering that my mum and dad have had to go through is unimaginable.
“He was only two pounds and 14 ounces, so he was tiny probably just bigger than a large palm of a hand and then they managed to build him up to four pounds but then they realised there was something wrong with his heart. He had a small valve in his heart and they took him to Great Ormond Street Hospital to perform a surgery, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.
“He was only alive for two months but he was constantly in the hospital, mum and dad never got to bring him home.”
The charity has raised more than £100,000 over the years and the family also fundraise through their Pleasure Beach amusement park in Great Yarmouth.
Mr Jones hopes his donation to the QEH will help towards the £185,000 suite plans to enable the hospital to provide a dedicated place for families who lose their babies during pregnancy or early birth.
He added: “It’s so special, just to be able to make a small difference in someone’s life.
“We wish our brother could be with us, to come watch me play or maybe play with me, I don’t know what he would have been into, but it’s really special for all of us.”
The footballer also plans to add to his donation by auctioning this year’s King’s Lynn Town football shirt which will be signed by all the players.
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