Guest blog: A marathon to honour an angel

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(Last Updated On: April 11, 2019)

I’m Hester, single mum, midwife and mother to an angel baby.

In honour of both my daughter and all the babies taken too soon I am running the gruelling 26 mile London marathon.

Hester Redfern

My baby girl died from group b strep, a curable infection that is both preventable and treatable if it is identified either in pregnancy or after birth, if I had of known I had this infection there is a very strong chance I would be watching my daughter grow into the person she could have become.

All it would have taken was an £11 test and a course of antibiotics! Despite numerous petitions there is still no national agreement to routinely test for this easily treatable condition in pregnancy so I am running to raise money for the charity that are working relentlessly to ensure routine testing is part of standard pregnancy care, preventing other families suffering the devastating consequences of group b strep.

On February 7th 2009 my beautiful little girl arrived into this world, our perfect little pretty bundle of pink. A much loved daughter and beloved sister to our 2 year old (who wanted to cuddle her endlessly). Our family was complete for 2 perfect days.
But tragically she was not meant for this world and on the 10th of February she closed her eyes and fell asleep for the last time and became our forever angel.

We had no idea what laid ahead of us that night. Our brave baby girl had shown no signs of being ill. She had been a bonnie bouncing baby girl until I woke in the night and found her warm but lifeless next to me and that’s when our world fell apart.

Despite the amazing efforts of paramedics, nurses, doctors and anaesthetists our precious baby could not be saved and we had to make the heart-breaking walk away from the hospital empty armed.

We soon found out that our baby had been overcome by overwhelming group b strep which had caused pneumonia, septicaemia and multi organ failure. They believe she had become unwell and died within a matter of hours. Slowly and painfully we then had to tread the path of grief after the loss of a child. Words cannot even come close to pain felt by us all. The body of a mother desperately needing to hold and care for her baby, I literally ached for my baby girl.

10 years on the pain has not eased. Every day has become easier but never ever will my heart and arms not ache for her.

So to honour her memory 10 years on I am running the London marathon, to remember her, all the babies lost to this truly devastating illness and all the mothers and fathers who have lost their children through whatever cause, as they like me will forever have empty arms.

I gratefully welcome all donations in support of my cause but want to make a special promise….if you would like to sponsor me in honour of your lost child, or any lost child you want remembered message me your precious ones name and I will run the streets of London with pride wearing a badge with their name on.

Leila Redfern

If you have chance please read and share my go fund me page. I welcome my story being shared in an attempt to raise as much money as I can for this worthy cause and in memory of my precious baby – Leila Redfern.

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Team account for We Are South Devon.