Dad from Halifax says there will be fathers suffering in silence during Father's Day this weekend

A dad from Halifax whose daughter was stillborn has spoken out for the fathers who will suffer in silence with this weekend's Father's Day approaching.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:53 pm

Ben Moorhouse's daughter Kallipateira was stillborn at 37 weeks of pregnancy in October 2018 in Calderdale.

Ben and partner Gaynor Thompson went onto experience a miscarriage at nine weeks in the May of 2019.

In May 2020 they gave birth to their rainbow baby boy Apollon Alexandros after keeping the full pregnancy a secret from everyone. They were cared for before, during and after the pregnancy by Professor Alexander Heazell and his team of the Tommy's rainbow clinic and research centre in Manchester.

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Ben Moorhouse

Gaynor and Apollon needed specialist treatment for the placenta for chronic histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI) which is an extremely rare condition that may affect the placenta during pregnancy.

In CHI, the mother's immune system reacts abnormally to the pregnancy and causes damage to the placenta, increasing the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

In the UK, one in every 250 pregnancies end in stillbirth – when a baby dies after 24 weeks gestation.

Ben says that most stillbirths are fully preventable.

"Most of the stillbirths that happen each day are preventable. These are fully developed beautiful healthy babies that should be alive," he said.

Ben and Gaynor are Trustees of local charity The Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation who support parents who have experienced the death of a baby and also support research, with the team in Manchester being the charities main beneficiary to help save babies lives nationally.

Ben says that many dads will go through this Father's Day week suffering in silence.

"There will be many dads who have experienced the death of a baby at any stage who will be hiding in the shadows this week," he said.

"People think that dads should just get on with life and be the strong one. This week will bring much sadness and more grief to many dads.

"If you know a dad who has ever experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a child, whether it be years ago or recently, please check how they are this Father's Day week. To acknowledge and say the babies or child's name can make a big difference."

This week will bring Ben his own personal sadness.

"Many think because we are now four years on and that we have Apollon we are now OK," he said. "My pain grows day by day. What I would do to have Kallipateira here on Sunday for a cuddle."

On July 16, Ben is walking 180 miles non-stop and with no sleep from London to Manchester with all funds going to research to help save babies' lives. Previously people have done this walk over a week but Ben hopes to complete this in 60 hours or less.

Ben has set himself a target of £10,000 but says he is struggling so far for donations, with his amount raised currently at £1,370.

"Most people cross the road when they hear the subject of baby death," he said. "With limited publicity available, as just a normal dad from Halifax it's very difficult to raise the funds. Your support would be appreciated."

To support Ben with a donation visit www.justgiving.com/manchester2022, and for support during Father's Day week visit www.kmfoundation.co.uk.