Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold opens up about the tragic loss of her son aged eight months
THE CEO OF ANN SUMMERS, JACQUELINE GOLD, TALKED ABOUT THE TRAGIC LOSS OF HER SON ALFIE, AGED JUST EIGHT MONTHS OLD
Jacqueline underwent IVF and was thrilled when she fell pregnant with twins. But joy turned to heartbreak when she was told some devastating news.
Jacqueline said: ‘Anybody who's lost a child, it's the worst thing a parent can go through. It's not really a story I've talked a lot about.’
She found out during the pregnancy that something wasn’t right with one of the babies and her son Alfie had Alobar holoprosencephaly, which prevents the brain developing normally during pregnancy.
‘At my 12 week scan I found out that he had a fatal condition. I was told he would pass naturally during the pregnancy.’
Normally a child with that disability would pass, but because she had twins that didn’t happen and the pregnancy continued.
Alfie was born and lived for eight months. ‘It was immensely traumatic, because of his condition he was born in pain. No parent should have to go through that.’
‘We try to keep his memory alive - we talk about him all the time, we've got pictures of him everywhere.'
Alfie's twin sister Scarlet is now nine years old.
‘Scarlet's very very aware and asks about him a lot, but it was a very difficult time.
‘She is very outgoing. I want her to grow up believing she can be whatever she wants to be.’
They also chatted about Jacqueline’s career.
‘It really has changed, when I think back to when I started it you could not buy sexy underwear on the high street, like you can today. It was inconceivable. They were scratchy, they were made by men bought by men and that’s where the whole idea came from.
'Women wanted to be able to spice up sex lives and wear sexy underwear and wanted to be in control and be in power.’
After becoming CEO of Anne Summers in 1987, she managed to transform it into a multi-million pound business with an annual turnover of £109 million.