Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Raising Cash from This Marathon Effort Could Save More from Cot Death Heartache

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Raising Cash from This Marathon Effort Could Save More from Cot Death Heartache

Article excerpt


THE first weeks spent with a newborn baby are among the most memorable for any parent.

But none more so than for Andy Corfield.

Within just weeks of bringing baby Jack home from hospital, Andy woke up to the sound of wife Lisa screaming when she discovered their son had stopped breathing while he slept.

What followed was Andy's desperate attempts to revive his third child, pictured inset, before finally being given the devastating news that Jack had suffered Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - also known as cot death.

Now, in preparation for what would have been Jack's 18th birthday, Andy is beginning training for next year's London Marathon where he will attempt to raise thousands for cot death charity FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths).

Crane driver, Andy, 37, said: "I still say goodnight to him every day. You never forget.

You don't stop thinking about it.

"This seemed like a good thing to do - although I'm not a runner.

"The whole issue of cot death and losing a baby is still taboo. We are hoping we can raise awareness of it as well as money for research." Baby Jack arrived four weeks early in September 1995. Weighing in at 6lb 9.5oz he had no health issues and was discharged within days when his feeding pattern was established.

Mum, Lisa, 37, a team manager for the Co-op group, said: "He did this funny little thing where he nuzzled your shoulder.

"It took him a while but when he started feeding we couldn't get him to stop."

But just five weeks after his birth at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital in an ambulance carried Jack back there.

Lisa, also mum to Amy, 19, Owen, 18 and Alice, 15, said: "I woke up that morning and reality just dawned on me - he hadn't woke me up for a feed.

"I knew right away what had happened. I was hysterical. I screamed for Andy. He tried to resuscitate Jack while the ambulance was on its way.

"It's all a bit of a blur really, but we drove to the hospital and Jack went in the ambulance.

"Next thing a nurse came in - dead blas - and blurted out, 'you do know your baby is dead, don't you?'.

"That's something you can't forget even if you want to."

The Hemlington couple were given time to cradle their baby before having to leave the hospital empty handed.

Andy, who is also the creator of the infamous Boro Pat - a dubbed version of the children's favourite Postman Pat - added: "It was a horrible time. Coming home without Jack was bad enough, then telling the kids and because the police have to come whenever a child dies we had to contend with all the rumours as well.

"People were saying I had been arrested. I wasn't working at the time either so paying for a funeral - even for a baby - was expensive. …

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