Tragic mum’s bid to comfort others

Sarah Hart with her daughter Amelia Turner with one of her memory boxes. Picture by FRANK REID
Sarah Hart with her daughter Amelia Turner with one of her memory boxes. Picture by FRANK REID
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A TRAGIC mum who had to deliver her stillborn baby at 34 weeks is throwing all her energies into helping other bereaved families.

Sarah Hart’s world fell apart when her longed-for first-born, Josephine Daisy, was stillborn at the University Hospital of Hartlepool in 2007.

The 24-year-old, who still has a support worker/midwife to help her cope with the loss, had had a relatively smooth pregnancy but suffered high blood pressure in the later stages.

Sarah said she and her partner Steven Turner, 32, a controller for Stripe Taxis, in Peterlee, were heartbroken.

She said: “Until that day I had not known anybody who had been through this traumatic experience. Until it happens it is not really a thing you talk about.”

But in her darkest hours Sarah went online to find other people who had been through similar experiences, making friends with bereaved parents across the world.  One of them was Holly Peach, 22, from Southampton, whose daughter Amber was stillborn last year.

Holly was struggling to cover costs for a headstone for Amber and started selling hand-made jewellery and candles to pay for the memorial.

This led to Amber’s Angel World being created on social networking site Facebook and the page has received hundreds of hits, mostly from people in a similar situation.

Sarah, who is now mum to Joshua Turner, three, and one-year-old Amelia Turner, herself had struggled to pay for Josephine’s headstone.

It was only in the past few months that she accepted help from her dad, Steve Cherry, from Birmingham, who paid it.

Sarah, who lives in Cotsford Lane, Horden, started helping to run the web page in September when it was inundated with requests from bereaved parents.

Since then the page, which sells memorial trinkets including lanterns and candles, has raised hundreds of pounds in sales and online auctions.

Sarah and Holly have just started selling personalised wooden memorial boxes which contain poignant trinkets, such as personalised candles and angel keyrings, as well as specially-written poems and balloon-release kits for parents who have lost children up to 12.

The boxes are around 9in by 6in deep and come painted with henna designs.

Sarah, who is studying at East Durham College on a teaching assistant course and says there are plans to eventually open an Amber’s Angel World shop, said: “We have just sold one for a little girl who died aged five. They are beautiful boxes and parents say they provide comfort.

“More than 17 babies are born daily stillborn or die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) shortly after birth.

“We aim to support all affected families, regardless of age or circumstances.

“Our dream is for Amber’s Angel World to become more popular, raise awareness and to possibly reach charitable status.”

The web page can be found by typing Amber’s Angel World into facebook.

To find out more, or to make a donation towards auctions, raffles or planned events, email ambersangelworld@hotmail.co.uk.