‘He touched all our lives’

Corben Horsley
Corben Horsley

LITTLE Corbin Horsley reaches out his tiny hand as he clings to life, having been born 12 weeks prematurely.

But after a 24-day battle he sadly lost his fight for life.

Today his devastated parents, Jodi Queen and Anthony Horsley, spoke of their heartache after losing their longed-for first baby.

Hartlepool woman Jodi, 22, said: “I just feel so lost. I don’t feel like I’m a mum.

“The day before he died, he was doing well, smiling and laughing. The next day, he just turned poorly.

“He was only here for 24 days but he still made a big impact on all our family and touched all our lives.

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“He was always smiling to the end, he was our little smiler, always wriggling about.”

Jodi, from Owton Manor Lane, had a relatively smooth pregnancy until she suffered unexplained stomach pains at 28 weeks.

She was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, but medics told her she was already in heavy labour.

Jodi, who works at Greggs bakers in the town’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, was in labour for 22 hours before Corbin was born at 3.13pm on January 12, weighing just 3lb 1oz.

He wasn’t due to arrive until April 3.

She said doctors never discovered the cause of the premature birth.

Jodi added: “Giving birth was the hardest thing.

“I couldn’t stop crying.

“He was our first child, and we had been so excited.”

Corbin was placed in an incubator in the hospital’s neo-natal unit, where he appeared to be doing well.

Former Manor College of Technology pupil Jodi said: “He was a lovely-looking baby.

“He had a bit of bruising from the birth but everything else was perfect.

“He was alright when he was born, he was just so small.”

Jodi, who was due to move in with Anthony, a 20-year-old Hartlepool Borough Council environmental worker from Challoner Road, before the baby was born, said Corbin was doing well.

So it came as a complete shock when on February 4, he started having breathing problems.

“He just turned poorly so quickly,” said Jodi.

She said doctors discovered Corbin had a ruptured bowl and tried to give him anti-biotics but there was nothing they could do.

Corbin lost his fight for life on February 5.

Jodi thanked the nurses at the neo-natal unit for their support, as well as her parents, Carol and Davy McDearmid and Anthony’s parents Julie and Scott Horsley.

Corbin’s funeral will take place on Monday at Stranton Grange Cemetery Chapel at 1pm.

Men are asked to wear white shirts and baby blue ties and woman are asked to wear neutral colours as Jodi says: “He had a nice life during his short time in hospital, and black would have been too grim.”