Sophie’s story

Est. read time: 1-2 minutes.

A mum whose daughter died after just two days says East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) helped give her “clarity” in her darkest hour.

Angela Gray’s daughter, Sophie, was born by emergency c-section, after 37 weeks, in August 2018.

Despite a trouble-free pregnancy, there were complications at birth and Sophie was transferred from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

However, Angela and husband Chris made the heart-wrenching decision to withdraw treatment and it was at that point they were referred to EACH.

“We were apprehensive to start with, but the support we received turned out to be a lifesaver,” said Angela.

“I’d gone from being pregnant and expecting a normal, healthy baby to then having to make the horrific decision to withdraw treatment. It was so unexpected.

“Our world had been ripped apart and turned upside down within 24 hours.

“In so many ways it’s a complete blur. I couldn’t think clearly or compute what was going on around me.

“However, there are other parts I remember clearly and that’s largely thanks to the support I received from EACH.

“Having someone by my side, to guide me, helped give me clarity.

“We did things like memory-making, taking photos and handprints and those are things I was encouraged to do.

“I’m so grateful because had it been down to me, in that moment, I might have said ‘no’. Then the opportunity would have been lost forever.

“Instead, I have these wonderful things to help me remember Sophie, so I’ll forever be grateful.

“Aside from the support I received, I also went to bereavement groups and that gave me an opportunity to meet other parents and families in similar situations – people I’m still in touch with.

“People don’t realise how much EACH does. They think of end of life, but not all the other things like bereavement and wellbeing support.”

Published in January 2024

Families’ stories and experiences are unique to them and we have been kindly granted permission to share this family’s story. If you have been affected by what you’ve read or have a question and would like to talk to someone, please contact your local children’s hospice service or Together for Short Lives, the UK charity that supports families caring for seriously ill children (tel: 0808 8088 100).

 

Would you like us to write and share your own family story?

We give all those receiving support from EACH the opportunity to share their family story. All family members are welcome to get involved if they’d like to and we will never share your story until you are completely happy with it. If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more, please contact Matt Plummer, EACH Media and PR Manager at matt.plummer@each.org.uk.

Instead, I have these wonderful things to help me remember Sophie, so I’ll forever be grateful.

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