Real life: “We’ve raised £60,000 in memory of our little girl”

susan jackson, tommy's

by closer |
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After her daughter Evie was born sleeping, inspirational mum Susan Jackson channeled her energy into supporting the great work of the charity Tommy's...

When Susan Jackson experienced the devastating heartbreak of giving birth to a still born baby, she amazingly found the courage to channel her grief into something positive and has raised over £60,000 for charity Tommy’s, who fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

Susan, 34, a receptionist from County Durham, was over 38 weeks pregnant with twins when she realised she hadn’t felt as much movement as normal. A hospital scan revealed one of the babies had died leaving Susan and her husband, devastated.

Susan says, “Nothing can prepare for the grief that hits you when losing a baby. And what makes it even harder is that the doctors can’t explain why it happened.”

WATCH: This is Tommy's advice on how to sleep safely during pregnancy

Susan fell pregnant quickly with husband, Stephen, 33, who she had been married to for two years. They were both delighted and it was at her 12-week scan in November 2009, that Susan discovered she was expecting twins.

She says, “Stephen is an identical twin but we hadn’t even thought that I could be carrying twins. I felt blessed to be pregnant anyway so to be told I was having two babies felt extra special.”

Susan had a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy, but then in June 2010, at just over 34 weeks pregnant, she felt a lack of movement and went straight to the hospital.

She says, “I was hooked up to a monitor and I knew from the consultant’s face there was a problem. He turned to me and said, “I’m sorry, one of your babies has died. I was absolutely heartbroken.”

tommy's stillbirth susan jackson
Susan and Stephen with their gorgeous daughter Ella ©Susan Jackson

Susan had a C-section the next day, and Ella was born weighing 4lb 11oz. Evie followed weighing 3lb 11oz.

Susan says, “Hearing Ella cry was such a relief and when I held her in my arms I felt a rush of love that she was okay. But my happiness was short lived when I held Evie. I was grateful for Ella but completely devastated that we’d lost Evie.”

What made things even harder for the couple was that doctors didn’t have answers about why Evie had died. It was then that the couple discovered Tommy’s and the vital research they do into why stillbirths happen and what can be done to prevent them.

susan jackson tommy's awards
Susan and her proud family on the day she received her Tommy's award ©Susan Jackson

Susan says, “We wanted to channel our grief in a positive way, so we decided to start fundraising for Tommy’s in Evie’s name. We believed that the number of babies lost through miscarriage and stillbirth needed to be reduced and wanted to prevent other families from going through the heartbreak of losing a child.”

Six months after Evie’s death, Susan held a Christmas fair which raised £200. Since then she’s has held them every year as well as hosting afternoon teas and taking part in sponsored runs. She says. “Ella has taken part in a sponsored run and often talks about her sister.”

susan jackson fundraiser tommy's
Little Ella gets involved in the fundraising too! ©Susan Jackson

Susan has now raised over £60,000 for the charity and, earlier this year, she was handed the Tommy’s Costa Star Fundraiser Award for her dedication and support.

She says, “It was such an honour. I’m just glad I can help in some way for such an important cause. Tommy’s is a charity close to our hearts and we will always fundraise for them in Evie’s memory.”

She adds, “If the money we raise helps just one baby, then we will have made our little girl proud.”

tommy's awards

Closer are partnering with the baby charity Tommy’s this year for their 2018 awards.

The Tommy's Awards recognises the parents who have been through the most challenging times during pregnancy and helps say thank you to your hero.

Click here to nominate your hero today. Nominations close on Friday 15 December.


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