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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Cumbrian mum draws on her own tragedy to help others

A Workington woman who has been “to hell and back” after losing two children is to hold a charity day for a cause close to her heart.

Angela Nicholson
FUND-RAISER: Harrington woman Angela Nicholson is holding a charity event to raise money for a stillborn babies charity

Angela Nicholson, 44, of Church Road, Harrington, will hold the event at the Lifeboat Inn, Harrington, in memory of her daughter Beth Shirley who was born stillborn in 1998.

It will raise money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, a national charity which provides support for bereaved parents and their families.

Mrs Nicholson, who at the time was living in Bury, Lancashire, was nine months pregnant and out shopping with her husband Stephen, known as Nick, when her waters broke.

She was rushed to hospital in Bury where she was in labour for two days.

After discovering that her placenta had collapsed, doctors took her into theatre for an emergency caesarian and the baby was born dead.

She was in intensive care for 24 hours after the ordeal.

Mrs Nicholson, who was born in Maryport, also lost her 14-year-old daughter Roxanne, known as Rocky, in 2000 after she was hit by a car on the M66, near Manchester, when she and a friend attempted to cross the motorway.

She said: “I’ve been to hell and back since all this happened, and at times I’ve just wanted to curl up in a ball and die.

“I’ve suffered mentally and emotionally.

“I’m no longer working and I have a care worker who visits me once a week.

“Some days when I wake up it’s just like it was yesterday. I had a hysterectomy recently because having periods were a constant reminder.”

She added: “I have a high pain threshold but when I was losing the baby I was screaming in pain and when the ordeal was over one of the doctors turned around and said to me ‘Sorry we couldn’t save your baby but she drowned in your own blood’. That’s something that has stayed with me forever.”

Mr Nicholson said: “The doctors wouldn’t believe that her waters had broken and we kept saying that she needed a caesarian. They left her too long and the baby was born dead. She was lucky to survive it herself.

“Both events have affected the family greatly, including my son Ben who grew up with Roxanne.”

After the death of Roxanne, Mr and Mrs Nicholson moved to Workington in 2001.

They hope that the charity day, which will be held on May 6, will give women who have suffered miscarriages or cot deaths the opportunity to go along and socialise.

Mrs Nicholson added: “I want to give something back to the charity because they really helped me when I lost Beth.

“It will also be a good opportunity for others who have lost a baby to come and talk to others who understand what they are going through.

“My mum and dad lost a three-month-old baby called William to cot death on Boxing Day in 1968 so it will give my dad the opportunity to remember him as well.”

The charity day will start at noon and will include a balloon race for children, a performance from Salterbeck band Element, a 12-hour darts match, a 12-hour pool match, karaoke, D & L Disco of Frostoms and a raffle.

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