A challenge of walking 60 miles throughout August is being taken on by a Ramsgate mum to raise money for a baby loss charity.
Jodie Nicholson, 30, will walk just over two miles each day in her bid to help The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) with vital funding.
In December 2019 Jodie gave birth to twins, Willow weighing just 520 grams and, one minute later, Reggie weighing slightly more at 820 grams.
The twins were born at just 25 weeks and five days into Jodie’s pregnancy after she went to QEQM Hospital suffering with sepsis.
She was blue-lighted to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford so her newborns could go straight onto ventilators and oxygen in the neonatal special care unit.
Baby Willow battled for 18 days but sadly lost her life on December 27, 2019. Reggie, now one, still has health problems with deafness in one ear, laser surgery undertaken to save his eyesight and weakness down his left side. Despite this he is beating the odds, walking when it was predicted he wouldn’t and continuing to make his mum proud with his progress.
Jodie said: “She fought hard for 18 days, she gave it her all but it was her tiny body. They said they had never known a tiny baby have so much fight. She was so feisty but she was so small.”
Willow had been resuscitated three times but after that final attempt Jodie said it was unfair to put her daughter through any more. She passed away in a nurse’s arms while they sang Silent Night to her.
Willow’s resting place is at Margate cemetery with a Disney castle and fairy princesses. Jodie said: “When she was born I called her my little fairy because she was so small.”
The walk next month is being done in Willow’s memory with the aim of helping other families who face the same terrible loss as Jodie has endured. Sands has been chosen because of the help and support the charity gives.
Jodie said: “I can never bring Willow back but I can raise money for the charity in her memory and give something back.
“It is a really important charity, they help a lot of people with support, contact and there are monthly meetings. It is a really nice charity.
“I’ll be doing about two-and-a-half miles a day, adding up to 60 miles, and will do uploads to show how I am getting on. I’ll be walking on the beach, the park (in Ramsgate) and around Thanet.
“It will also get me out and about so hopefully I’ll go from a couch potato to a hero!”
Jodie hopes to raise £1000 for Sands and has already reached £450.