Wallsend couple whose baby lived for two hours vow to help others facing same tragedy

A Wallsend couple whose baby died in their arms just two hours after being born are using their experience to support others facing tragedy.

Lisa and Tony Gray lost their baby boy Sam shortly after he was born at 24 weeks in 2014.

After struggling to come to terms with their loss, the couple were supported by Teardrop, a charity for local bereaved women and families in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Now, in memory of their son, the couple are volunteering their time help other families in the same position.

Mrs Gray said: "I think back to those first few meetings and talking to people and kind of hearing stories, which sometimes seemed even worse than ours.

"And I just think knowing how important that was for me, if I could do that or if I could listen to somebody else or hear someone else's story, then it's really important to do that.

“We found it really hard those first few weeks...even things like going to the supermarket, or anywhere where there's going to be families, children, kids. It was just really hard to deal with."

Mr Gray explained that after experiencing the loss of a baby, he had a new found awareness of what could affect bereaved parents.

He continued: "You're hypersensitive that there’s baby stuff everywhere, adverts on the telly, things that you wouldn't have noticed before suddenly become very apparent.”

One in 250 pregnancies result in a stillbirth, which is thought to affect more than seven families every day, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Teardrop runs a maternity bereavement room at the Northumbria Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, which is a place for anyone facing the trauma of baby loss.

Teardrop, which is run by volunteers, aims to better equip staff to support anyone experiencing baby loss. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Marie Blyth, a Teardrop volunteer who has also experienced baby loss, said: “It's something that you never really prepare for, so just being there for them every step of the way.

"If someone's having a bad day, we encourage them to pick up the phone.

"We're just at the other end of the phone for them, we come along to a support group to meet them, go for a coffee or something like that.”

Teardrop, which is run by volunteers, was started in 1992 by midwives at the old Ashington Maternity Unit with the aim of better equipping staff to support anyone having experienced the death of a baby.

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