Couple’s fight in memory of tragic James

Baby James with his teddies
Baby James with his teddies

A grieving Kirkham couple who lost their baby son just 30 minutes after he was born have launched a crusade to stop other parents suffering the same post-birth heartache.

Baby James Norris was born almost three months early weighing just 2lb 10oz after being diagnosed with a lethal skeletal dysplasia in the womb.

Baby James with dad Will and mum Nichole

Baby James with dad Will and mum Nichole

He survived for 30 minutes after birth allowing his parents Will, 26, and mum Nichole Taylor, 27, precious time with their tragic son.

But their heartache at losing their first child was made worse when Nichole was placed back in a delivery suite at the Sharoe Green Unit at Royal Preston Hospital, surrounded by happy families and the cries of newborn babies.

The determined couple have now decided to throw their weight behind a campaign to get all 12 delivery suites at the hospital soundproofed to prevent other parents having to endure the same trauma.

Nichole, of Southlands in Kirkham, said: “I couldn’t be discharged due to complications in the labour and had to stay on the delivery unit.

We could hear other women having their babies and their first cries

“We could hear other women having their babies and their first cries.

“It was devastating. We had to use my phone to play music to drown out other women’s cries of being in labour and the cries of the newborns.

“The bereavement suite is also on the main maternity ward and you don’t want to cry and grieve, as other parents are having their special first moments, and you don’t want to ruin it for them.”

Will, a teacher at Pear Tree School in Kirkham, said: “The odds were very much against James and it would have been a miracle for him to survive - we were very fortunate to get that precious 30 minutes.

“He gave us a little wave and we had our family hugs in our arms and then he passed away.

“It was an amazing experience.

“But it was difficult being around new mums and their babies afterwards.

“We’re supporting the appeal to help soundproof the rooms as we know from our own experience how much difference it will make.”

Nichole, a life educator at Lancashire Life Education, added: “We want to raise as much money as we can so other parents don’t have to go through what we did.”

The couple were told 14 weeks into the pregnancy that James had skeletal development issues which were later diagnosed as Thanatophoric Dysplasia, which meant due to a lack of bone development in his ribs it would not support his tiny lungs.

Most cases end in stillbirth.

He was born on Friday September 25 - almost three months before his due date of December 15.

The Baby Beat Appeal’s main project, the Little Ted’s Appeal is aiming to raise £100,000 to soundproof 12 rooms in the delivery unit at the Sharoe Green Unit.

Karen Entwistle, from The Baby Beat Appeal, the registered charity which raises funds for the two hospital’s maternity and neonatal units at Preston and Chorley, said: “Will and Nichole came to see me and explained the situation with James and said they had read about the Little Ted’s Appeal and wanted to support it.

“It was lovely to meet two really amazing and determined people who have been through an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking time but still felt it was important to help other parents who may find themselves in the same tragic situation.

“We are incredibly grateful to Will and Nichole for their support in carrying this important project forward. Funding has been raised successfully for work to start on two of the rooms but we still need a further £75,000 to soundproof the remaining 10 rooms and their support is truly appreciated”

To support Will and Nichole’s campaign, go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/angeljames. Go to http://www.babybeat.co.uk/ for details on the Little Ted’s Appeal.