Special fundraising day in Norwich in memory of baby Ellen

A mother whose baby daughter was stillborn is holding a special charity fundraising day in Norwich in her memory.

Laura Brown, 27, said she wanted to raise funds for SANDS (Stillborn and neonatal death charity) because of the support they have given her in helping her come to terms with the loss of her daughter Ellen.

Mrs Brown thought she was having a normal pregnancy until at 20 weeks specialists told her and her husband Tim, 33, that their daughter had severe ventriculomegaly in her brain and would be unlikely to survive the pregnancy.

The couple, from The Street, Thurton, made the painful decision to bring on labour early and baby Ellen was born at 21 weeks on December 4 last year at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mrs Brown, who also has a two-year-old son called Ethan, said: 'Our little girl was born sleeping. It was the worst day of my entire life.'

Mr and Mrs Brown were able to give their little girl a precious cuddle, before Mrs Brown was rushed to theatre because the placenta had got stuck to her womb.

When she was able to go home it was the smile of her little boy that helped Mrs Brown carry on.

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'Ethan was completely my lifesaver. Seeing his smile was the most amazing thing, Luckily he did not really understand what had happened,' she said.

The next time Mrs Brown was able to see her daughter was the day before her funeral.

'I went to the funeral directors and held Ellen and gave her a kiss,' she said.

'At her funeral it was snowing. It was almost as if she wanted it to snow. It looked so pretty.'

Ellen is buried at the family's local church, St Ethelberts, and they can see her grave from their home.

'I can see the church from our garden, and I know Ellen is in heaven and looking after us all. We think about her every single day and look at her picture. We love her lots and I am sure we will meet again,' said Mrs Brown.

She said SANDS helped her by offering counselling and putting her in touch with other mothers who have lost children.

'Through SANDS I have met other mums who have had similar experiences. My friends and Tim have been amazing but other mums who have lost their babies are the only people who can fully understand how you feel when you lose a baby that you have felt kicking inside you. SANDS are brilliant really and that is why I want to raise as much as I can for them with the fundraising day. I hope to raise �1,000.'

The fundraising fun day is being held at The Mole's Rest, in Fifers Lane, on Saturday, May 28 from 1pm until midnight and entry is free. During the afternoon there will be children's games, a bouncy castle, face painting and a barbecue, and in the evening there will be a disco, karaoke, auction, raffle and barbecue.

Anybody who would like to have a stall at the event in return for a �5 donation to SANDS, or who would like to donate cakes or raffle or auction prizes, should call the Mole's Rest on 01603 410476.

• To help boost Mrs Brown's fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/laura-brown14

• For more information on SANDS visit www.uk-sands.org

• Are you raising funds for a good cause? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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