‘I’m doing it for her because she could not’ - father loses baby daughter and raises money for charity
- Credit: Archant
Donna Reynolds and Rich Stainthorpe were overjoyed to become parents. In January, 2014 they welcomed their baby daughter Imogen into the world at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Within minutes of their daughter's delivery, though, their joy was overshadowed by an unexpected reality: Imogen had sustained serious sprinal injuries during birth.
'I couldn't wait to become a dad, and when Imogen arrived the feeling was wonderful. But sadly, it soon became apparent that something was wrong,' Mr Stainthorpe said.
'We were told that it was extremely unlikely that Imogen would ever be able to breathe again on her own. She was permanently paralysed from the neck down and her chances of survival were minimal,' he said.
Imogen was immediately put in the hospital's NICU and then transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge three weeks later. In March, only a short time after, Imogen died.
Despite the tragedy, Mr Stainthorpe, 37, is pushing himself in various races to raise money for two charities that helped him most during the most difficult time of their lives: the Sick Children's Trust (SCT) and East Anglia's Children's Hospice (EACH).
'The Sick Children's Trust gave us a 'Home from Home' so we could be with Imogen throughout her painfully short life – something we can never thank the charity enough for.
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'And EACH gave us a huge amount of support after Imogen died – which has really helped us cope with our loss. We cannot praise both charities highly enough for what they did for us,' he said.
Mr Stainthorpe competed in the North Norfolk Traithlon on September 4 and will complete the Norfolk Coastal Marathon on October 29.
'Imogen's story is so tragically sad, but to see all that Rich is doing, along with his friends and family is so inspirational,' Sandra Peckham, Acorn house manager, said.
The couple recently had a son named Isaac, but they will never forget their daughter.
'I'm doing it for Imogen. She suffered so much in such a short space of time and had the chance to do things like this taken away from her. I'm doing it for her because she could not,' Mr Stainthorpe said.