Chorley family’s run in memory of baby Ted raises £2K for charity Baby Beat

A Chorley family has raised £2,000 for mums and babies charity Baby Beat by taking part in May’s Great Manchester Run in memory of baby Ted Soper, who was born asleep just over a year ago.

Ted’s mum and dad Michelle and Alastair Soper, grandparents Hilary and Neil Gibirdi, uncle and aunty Chris and Jacqueline Gibirdi plus Hilary’s work colleague Carol Oxley and her sister Diane Welch, trained for eight months to take on the 10km run. The group set out together and all finished within 30 minutes of one another, clocking times of between 60 to 90 minutes.

Michelle, a high school RE teacher, said: “I don’t know how we would have got through the last year without the support of bereavement midwife Claire, who has always been there when needed and who has arranged counselling for me.

“My pregnancy with Ted was quite normal. One day, I had some bleeding. I was scanned and could see Ted’s heart beating away. The next day, my waters broke and I had to deliver Ted at 16 weeks. I had to be taken to theatre but we were told afterwards that I had suffered placental abruption, which is where the placenta that nourishes the baby breaks away from the womb wall. It came as a huge shock.”

Michelle, who has seven-year-old daughter Corinne and two grown up step-children, Emma and Joshua, added: “It was my mum and dad’s idea to do the run. We did it in Ted’s memory and to raise awareness of the devastating impact of miscarriage and baby loss.”

Baby Beat fundraiser Lucy Clark said: “We are incredibly grateful to Michelle and her family for this wonderful donation and for bravely speaking out about baby loss. Baby Beat is currently funding an early pregnancy loss bereavement nurse specialist to help parents-to-be, who lose their baby before 16 weeks, while Claire is the Trust’s lead bereavement midwife.

It is a sad fact that one in four pregnancies currently end in a loss. Women like Michelle, who speak out, do so much good helping others caught up in this heart-breaking statistic.”

Baby Beat is part of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity family. It funds specialist equipment, patient services and comforts, clinical care, local research, additional training, and staff welfare projects so that the maternity and gynaecology teams can offer the best possible outcomes for babies and mums in the Central Lancashire and Chorley area.