Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coping with Child Loss; after the Heartbreak of Losing Their One and Only Child, David and Julie Kilpatrick Are Determined to Return the Support They Received during Their Darkest Hour. DEBRA FOX Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coping with Child Loss; after the Heartbreak of Losing Their One and Only Child, David and Julie Kilpatrick Are Determined to Return the Support They Received during Their Darkest Hour. DEBRA FOX Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DEBRA FOX

THE arrival of flowering snowdrops are a well-known sign that spring is not far away, but for David and Julie Kilpatrick, snowdrops remain a symbol associated with the annual Snowdrop Walk they organise at Hardwick Park in Sedgefield, County Durham, on behalf of the Child Bereavement Charity.

David, 56, says: "It was one of those situations where we started the Snowdrop Walk to pay back the charity for the help that they gave us, but it turned into something else and something bigger."

Together for 27 years, and married for 21, David and Julie were overjoyed to be expecting a little boy after going through two rounds of IVF. After a fantastic pregnancy where Julie reached full term, the couple lost their baby at the last moment.

On March 16 2002, David and Julie's son Matthew David Kilpatrick was stillborn at High Wycombe Hospital.

Julie, 50, says: "We had been waiting 15 years to have Matthew and after our first round of IVF didn't work I decided to give it one last go.

"When I fell pregnant it felt like the best thing that had ever happened to us."

David says: "We were elated to be expecting. After out first round of IVF failed and the second one was successful it was horrendous to lose Matthew at the 11th hour. The birth was unbearable, knowing that Julie was going through it all to give birth to a dead child."

Julie continues: "We had everything ready so when it all went wrong it was like being thrown into another world. We went into shock. No one could imagine what it's like unless they've experienced it."

With no obvious cause for Matthew's death, David and Julie decided against an autopsy.

Julie says: "I couldn't bear the thought of it. It wouldn't change anything and it wouldn't bring him back.David continues: "One thing the hospital did encourage us to do was to have some photographs taken with Matthew and actually spend a little time with him." Julie adds: "It was definitely the right choice." While the couple were attempting to process the sudden loss of their baby, the staff of High Wycombe Hospital were in action, contacting and recommending the charity as a fantastic organisation to provide support for them during such a difficult time. David says: "We were not actually aware of the charity before we lost Matthew, but we were very fortunate to be put in touch with them. "The charity organised everything to do with the funeral which was tremendously helpful to us. As you can imagine, I'm normally the sort of bloke who never shuts up but at this time I just shut down. I was in bits." As a thank you to the Child Bereavement Charity for all of the help and support they received, the couple decided to set up their own branch of the Snowdrop Walk after their move to the North East. …

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