Mum’s fight for memorial to ‘little angel’

Fund raising for still birth is Jo Grace with her daughter Marya aged four.
Fund raising for still birth is Jo Grace with her daughter Marya aged four.

A mum who delivered a stillborn baby has paid tribute to her “perfect” little girl and is now raising money for SANDS - the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity.

Jo Grace, 30, was 20-weeks pregnant when she found out she was having another little girl.

She said: “Everything was perfect and we were excited.

“A few weeks later I stopped feeling movement so I went to the hospital.

“We went for another scan in the same room as when we were told we were having another girl and the doctor turned around and said ‘Mrs Grace, your baby has died’.

“I just completely broke down.”

Two days later, Jo was induced and delivered baby Carys on June 16, 2013 in Calderdale Royal Hospital.

“The midwives were amazing and I have a fond memory of the birth because of their help.

“I didn’t see Carys for a few hours because there were complications with the labour but she was absolutely perfect.”

The hospital gave Jo a memory box, which was donated by SANDS, with foot prints of her baby and other memorable items.

“You go in with a bump and come out with a memory box, which is heartbreaking.

“The memory box is a lovely thought - it brings me so much happiness now knowing I have it there.”

Now, Jo, who has a four-year-old daughter called Marya, has started raising money for the charity and to build a memorial for Carys in Warley Cemetery. She has raised more than £600 so far - thanks to the help from family, friends and strangers.

Six weeks after Carys died, Jo joined SANDS Halifax and was “amazed” by the support.

“It is the kindness of strangers that we can’t quite believe,” Jo added.

Jo, along with other members of the Halifax and Huddersfield-based branch of the charity, are now hoping to eventually create a memorial garden for babies that die stillborn or from neonatal complications.