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Hero nurses who helped Co Down family after devastating loss of their baby

A Co Down couple who lost their baby at 17 weeks tell Stephanie Bell why they nominated two nurses at the Ulster Hospital for one of the highest accolades in their profession

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Family bond: Gary and Claire Mitchell and their son Zach

Family bond: Gary and Claire Mitchell and their son Zach

The nurses with Director of Nursing Nicki Patterson

The nurses with Director of Nursing Nicki Patterson

Claire gets a hug from Zach

Claire gets a hug from Zach

Deserved accolades: Hannah Whittaker and Deputy Sister Fiona Rice

Deserved accolades: Hannah Whittaker and Deputy Sister Fiona Rice

The nurses with Director of Nursing Nicki Patterson

The nurses with Director of Nursing Nicki Patterson

Family bond: Gary and Claire Mitchell and their son Zach

Co Down couple Dr Gary Mitchell and his wife Claire had no idea this time last year how their lives were about to be turned upside down within a matter of days.

They were on an emotional high after Claire's 16-week scan showed all was well with the second child she was expecting.

But just a couple of days later, their happiness was dashed when Claire's waters broke prematurely in the middle of the night.