A Billingshurst mother of one has talked about the pain of losing one of her baby twins as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week (October 9 to 15).
Emma Johnston is running the Great South Run in two weeks time in memory of Morgan, who was born more than two months premature and died aged seven-weeks.
She is running the 10 miles in aid of Bliss, a charity that provides care for premature and sick babies and support for their parents.
The mother said yesterday (Thursday October 10): “When Morgan and Jasmin were born nine weeks early, weighing only 3lbs12oz, my life was turned upside down. Special care was an alien environment that I can’t describe, but today Bliss thankfully support parents on this distressing journey.”
The three weeks Emma spent with Jasmin and Morgan before they fell ill with a virus that affected their lungs were ‘the hardest three weeks of my life’, said Emma.
The twins responded differently to the virus and were both transferred to intensive care.
Emma continued: “Morgan was so strong and brave, but his little lungs just couldn’t pull through.
“Morgan was taken from me so suddenly at just seven-weeks-old, his short life has left me with a huge gap, only half a story, but thankfully precious memories I will treasure and share.”
The mother has since been raising awareness of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that took her son’s life and has shared her experience in a conference ran by Bliss for health professionals working to help parents with babies in special care.
She added: “I am running 10 miles, in memory of Morgan, and in supporting Bliss for babies born too soon, too small and too sick, because of the excellent work they do in supporting parents, and campaigning to ensure consistent, high quality care for premature and sick babies.
“The results they achieve are amazing.”
RSV is a common virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms.
Babies who are born prematurely, or young children who have lung disease, however, are often at serious risk of becoming unwell from RSV.
The virus causes inflammation and blockage of the smallest airways in the lungs and is the most common reason for a child to be admitted to hospital with a lung infection in Europe.