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Bereaved mums set up website network to help with grief

Memorial for baby who lived for only 30 days

By Victoria O'Hara

A bereaved mother who lost her newborn baby has told how she helped set up an online support network for other grieving families in Northern Ireland.

Adam Ellerslie was just 30 days old when he died from bowel complications in 2005.

His mother Eleanor Ellerslie, from Carrickfergus, and Jen Ferguson-who lost her newborn daughter Hannah Ferguson - created in memory of their children.

Later this month they will host a balloon release to mark International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day at Stormont.

On Sunday, October 14, there will be balloon tags for people to write messages in memory of their baby.

In one week in Northern Ireland an average of four babies will be stillborn or die within the first month of life.

Eleanor said it is important parents have the opportunity to remember their children.

Eleanor explained that Adam was born with Down's Syndrome, but it was not spotted until 16 hours after he was born. He was taken to the Royal Hospital where he was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease.

"He was taken ill again, though, and had to go back into hospital and had an operation to remove the infected part of the bowel but took complications two days later."

Baby Adam lived for 30 days.

"It was a nightmare," Eleanor said.

"The day we were waiting for him to die, we still had the new baby cards up. By the Tuesday they were replaced by sympathy cards.

"You don't realise the impact losing a baby has.

"My family were very good, but it is just other mummies who know how you are feeling.

"And at times like that you feel like the only person in the world that this it is happening to."

Eleanor said that the idea to create came after a meeting up with other mums.

"There were a few of us who met up every month or so for coffee - we decided to set up a forum.

"Then I started looking on the internet and found different people from Northern Ireland who had lost children as well.

"I met Jen. She left a message on the website I made for Adam.

"It really is a great support network.

"I don't want Adam to have died for nothing.

"I want to reach out and help, because I know exactly what they are going through."

If you are interested in taking part in the balloon release enter your details on the website by noon on October 11. Or ring and leave details on 07876 780447.

Belfast Telegraph


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