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‘It’s heartbreaking’ - Family hopes ball will raise lots of money for bereavement centre

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 22 February 2019

On a family holiday. (From L-R) Tanya Clews, James Clews, Pheobe Clews, Matthew Key and Scarlett Clews. Photo: Tanya Clews

On a family holiday. (From L-R) Tanya Clews, James Clews, Pheobe Clews, Matthew Key and Scarlett Clews. Photo: Tanya Clews

ArTanya Clews

A west Norfolk family are raising money for a planned bereavement centre so women can give birth to stillborn babies in a different delivery suite.

Sapphire was stillborn last year. Photo: Tanya ClewsSapphire was stillborn last year. Photo: Tanya Clews

Tanya Clews, 39, from King’s Lynn and her partner Matthew Key were excited to add a fourth child to their family until the 20-week scan revealed that something wasn’t right.

Miss Clews said: “We were told that Sapphire’s heart didn’t look like it had formed properly. We were sent down to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital for a more detailed scan.

“It was there we told she had something called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, one side of her heart hadn’t developed properly, which meant she wouldn’t make it.”

This left the family with a heart-breaking decision, whether to continue the pregnancy and then allow her to go or to have her sooner.

A keepsake shelf full of items made by Theresa's Tiny Treasures. Photo: Tanya ClewsA keepsake shelf full of items made by Theresa's Tiny Treasures. Photo: Tanya Clews

Miss Clews said: “The kindest thing on everybody, especially Sapphire, was to induce the pregnancy and she was born at 21 weeks. It’s the hardest decision that myself and my other half have ever had to make.”

The family knew they wanted to raise money in Sapphire’s memory for the charity that helped them when she was born and the planned bereavement centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Miss Clews said: “At the minute there is no separate area at the hospital for women to give birth to stillborn babies, they are in the same delivery suite as those giving birth to live babies.

“Its very difficult when your baby is born and there is no sound whatsoever and in the next room you hear a woman giving birth to a live baby who is screaming the place down, it’s heartbreaking.”

Before she was to be induced, Miss Clews was put in contact with Theresa Ann McGrath from Theresa’s Tiny Treasures, who makes keepsakes for families who lose babies at any stage of pregnancy.

READ MORE: ‘They don’t need my grief, they have enough of their own’ - ex-midwife makes keepsakes for families who lose a baby

“Theresa came down to the hospital the day Sapphire was born,” Miss Clew said. “She did so much for us and because we haven’t got Sapphire they are the memories that we have got.”

Sapphire’s Ball is being held at the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn on Saturday, June 1, tickets are £40. For more information click here.

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