Grieving dad in bid to help other parents facing the loss of a child

Dave Stone in training for a marathon indoor rowing event to raise cash and awareness for the charity Oscars Wish Foundation which helped him and his wife after their baby died. Pic Steve Robards  SR1606908 SUS-160229-171056001

Dave Stone in training for a marathon indoor rowing event to raise cash and awareness for the charity Oscars Wish Foundation which helped him and his wife after their baby died. Pic Steve Robards SR1606908 SUS-160229-171056001

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A grieving dad is hoping to help other bereaved parents by raising awareness of a help organisation.

Dave Stone and his wife Sophie from Burgess Hill were devastated when their baby daughter Jessica died in the womb aged just 22 weeks.

Sophie, 29, had to endure the trauma of giving birth naturally to little Jessica at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

“We had lots of support from the midwives,” said Dave, 35.

“They were phenomenal, brilliant. I cannot say enough about how incredible they were.

“We were too far along in the pregnancy to avoid having to give birth so had to go through the day as if it were a normal birth which is just heartbreaking but the midwives were so amazing even though they, too, find such events a huge trauma.”

But when the couple went home, they found they had no one to turn to for more support - until they discovered the organisation called Oscars Wish Foundation.

Said Dave: “This charity run by Gemma Kybert (www.oscarswishfoundation.co.uk) were a huge support to my wife and I when we lost our baby girl Jessica.

“The foundation provides much needed information and support to bereaved parents and their families who obviously suffer terribly after the loss of a child and often do not feel there is anyone to turn to who they can openly talk to and get support.

“This is where Oscars Wish Foundation step in and provide not just support for the parents, but also advice on how to tell and support the grieving brothers, sisters, aunts uncles etc of the little baby and how to break such tragic news to them in as gentle a way as possible.”

Now Dave, who works as a personal trainer at Burgess Hill’s Triangle Leisure Centre, is in training to take part in a marathon indoor rowing event to raise awareness, and cash, for the foundatin.

He will be rowing 42,195 metres in a three-hour marathon at the leisure centre on March 21.

“Oscars Wish helped us so much,” said Dave.

“Losing a baby is horrific for the mum going through it, but no-one gives a thought o the dad.

“That’s why I thought I would do this marathon. I want to raise awareness for dads, too,” he added.

Anyone who wants to support Dave can do so on the website www.youcaring.com/marathonrow