Couple's bid to find stillbirth answers

EVERY day 17 families in Britain go through the pain of the tragedy of stillbirth.

EVERY day 17 families in Britain go through the pain of the tragedy of stillbirth.

After nine months of pregnancy, the excited anticipation and preparation for a new arrival, mum and dad find themselves in the worst nightmare imaginable - baby has died in the womb, or during or shortly after birth.

The heartbreak and impact is impossible to quantify, but one Suffolk couple are today determined to do all they can to help stillbirth research.

Peter and Lynn Brady's son Jude, stillborn in 2006, would have been celebrating his second birthday next month.

To mark his memory the couple, of Sevenhills, near Nacton, are organising a special charity golf day and dinner dance with some famous guests to raise money for the charity Sands, which works to raise money for research into stillbirth and neonatal death and support families affected.

Mr Brady said: “Nobody can appreciate the impact of having a stillborn baby until they have actually been through it.

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“Unfortunately, that's the reason we are helping the charity because we desperately want to avoid other parents having to go through what we went through. Our lives have completely changed.”

Mr and Mrs Brady - who have a son Travis, four, and a daughter Cerys, seven months - believe research will reveal actions which can be taken to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

“The problem is that it is a very taboo subject,” said Mr Brady. “People are quite happy to talk about how many people are killed each day on the roads in crashes, but we don't want to talk about a baby dieing. People hide it away under the carpet.

“But the initial indications of the research being done show - and this is the really scary fact - that 40 per cent of those babies that die could have been saved if there were some changes to procedures in hospitals or the way we do things in our lives.

“It's really important to us that we remember Jude in a positive way and hosting this golf tournament not only highlights the issue of stillbirth and the work of Sands, but will also raise valuable funds to help finance research into the reasons behind stillbirth.”

More than 30 teams will take part in the golf day, competing for the Jude Brady Memorial Trophy, at Ufford Park Hotel and Golf Club on June 13.

Sands patrons, Matt Allwright, of Rogue Traders, and David Haig, of Four Weddings and a Funeral and My Boy Jack fame, will be attending the evening's dinner dance, along with Apprentice candidate Jo Cameron, celebrity chef Stein Smart and ex-Ipswich player Jason Dozzell.

Tickets for the dinner dance are £35 each. Anyone who would like to put together a team for the golf tournament, host a table at the dinner dance or buy a ticket should contact Peter Brady on 01473 659563.

FASTFACTS: Stillbirth

Seventeen babies are stillborn every day in the UK or die within the first 28 days of life.

Charity Sands is launching a Why17? Campaign which will run over 17 months and aims to raise £1.7 million to promote changes in antenatal practice and fund research that could reduce the loss of babies' lives.

It also aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact of a stillborn baby, or a baby that dies shortly after birth.

In more than 50 per cent of cases of stillbirth, no reason is found to explain the baby's death.

There is a greater risk of a baby being stillborn in twin or multiple pregnancies, women over 35, specific medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or thrombophilia, and where mothers smoke, are obese or come from socially deprived areas.