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Tragic baby’s mother makes St Mary’s Hospital charity appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 March 2012

James and Amanda Wrigley with surviving twin Jasper, aged five months

James and Amanda Wrigley with surviving twin Jasper, aged five months

Archant

The mother of a baby boy who died when he was born two months prematurely at St Mary’s Hospital says she wants to ensure parents can continue to benefit from the “amazing care” she received.

Hayden died from Group B streptococcus (GBS), a bacteria that is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies.

The bacteria can be found living harmlessly in up to 50 per cent of healthy women and can be passed on to their offspring.

Only one to two per cent of those newborns develop severe group B streptococcal disease but this is most likely in premature babies.

Mrs Wrigley says that she wants people to sign the Group B Strep Support charity’s online petition calling on the Department of Health to raise awareness of the infection.

“When I found what was wrong with Hayden I had never heard of it before,” she said. “We just need to raise awareness of it so that people know what it is.”

To sign the petition visit the Group B Strep Support website at www.gbss.org.uk

Amanda Wrigley, 34, gave birth to twins Hayden and Jasper after just 31 weeks of pregnancy last October.

Hayden tragically died about 15 hours later but Jasper was cared for at the Paddington hospital for six weeks and is now a healthy five-month-old baby.

Mrs Wrigley is raising money for the Winnicott Foundation, a charity supporting the St Mary’s premature baby unit which cared for Jasper.

She says the charity made life much easier for parents with a dedicated parent unit and many other “hidden touches”.

“I would like to buy something like a piece of equipment so that they can continue to save lives for other children and to say thank you for the amazing care we received,” she said.

“When we were there, people had donated blankets and hats they had knitted for the babies, which was a really nice, personal, homely touch.

“It was comforting to have those things. It made the whole process a bit more loving.”

Mrs Wrigley, a jeweller who lives in Notting Hill with her teacher husband James, had been trying for a baby for five years and became pregnant after three rounds of IVF treatment.

“The boys were born by C-section because they were so small and were not really strong enough to go through the process of labour,” she said.

“When Hayden was being wheeled out, the anaesthetist let me see him and I put my hand in and touched him.

“That was the only time that I saw him alive and was able to touch him.”

The boys were taken to St Mary’s premature baby unit where both appeared to be healthy. But a few hours later Hayden began to have breathing difficulties and doctors were unable to save him.

Five months on, the Wrigley family has raised more than £1,000 for the Winnicott Foundation and many of their relatives and friends have knitted clothing for the baby unit.

“What has happened is very tragic, but because of the journey [trying to conceive] before, we are just so grateful to have a child and it encouraged us to cherish him and focus on him through it all,” said Mrs Wrigley.

“I want to make sure that other people can benefit as I did.”

* To donate to the foundation visit www.justgiving.com/Amanda-Wrigley

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