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‘Too beautiful for earth’ - mum’s fundraising skydive to remember son

PUBLISHED: 15:34 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 23 January 2020

Jo Penniston will be skydiving in memory of baby Archie to fundraise for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Jo Penniston will be skydiving in memory of baby Archie to fundraise for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Archant

A mum is set to take on a 10,000 foot skydive on the anniversary of her baby boy’s death to raise money for the charity which supported her in her “darkest times”.

Archie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000  for EACH. Picture: Jo PennistonArchie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000 for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Jo Penniston wants to raise £1,000 for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) in memory of her son Archie, who died on September 27, 2014.

She will brave the jump from a plane at Beccles Airfield to mark six years to the day since the eight-month-old died.

Miss Penniston, of Queen's Hill in Costessey, said: "It is something I have always wanted to do. I really wanted to do something for EACH and how amazing they are.

"My beautiful Archie was such a fighter from the get go but unfortunately at the age of eight months and spending seven months in hospital, he just couldn't fight anymore and grew his wings and flew to a better place. He was too beautiful for earth. Archie will always be with me, I will always keep his memory alive."

Archie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000  for EACH. Picture: Jo PennistonArchie died aged eight months after being born 13-and-half weeks early, his mum Jo wants to raise £1,000 for EACH. Picture: Jo Penniston

Mrs Penniston gave birth 13-and-a-half weeks early on January 22, 2014. She was sent to Surrey to give birth and when he was born Archie weighed just 508g, or 1lb 1oz.

She and Archie's dad Lee Maddix watched their son, over the course of his life, undergo 23 blood transfusions and fight sepsis and 30 infections.

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He was intubated for more than 100 days, undergoing three lumbar punctures.

Miss Penniston said: "We were told he wouldn't make the night and to prepare for the worst at least 10 times."

When Archie was brought back to Norwich in April 2014, EACH's wellbeing team supported the family and provided a year of counselling following his death.

She continues to attend events held by the charity and said she would not be here without their support.

Miss Penniston said: "EACH has treated Archie, myself and my family with such dignity and respect and I cannot even begin to imagine how I would have got through my darkest times without them."

She said it would "mean the world" to raise £1,000, which could pay for 10 counselling sessions for families.

Tim Jenkins, EACH Norfolk community fundraiser, said: "It's obviously so much more poignant, though, when people who have first-hand experience of our service decide to do something for us. Jo's skydive will be a great experience for her and a fitting tribute to Archie."

Visit her Just Giving page here to donate to the fundraiser.

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