Courageous Old Hall couple motivated to set up their own charity

Kate with Ben Westwood

Kate with Ben Westwood

First published in News

EACH month we will be taking a closer look at charities making a difference in the town.

This week we meet the couple behind maternity bereavement cause Harry and Co.

WHEN Old Hall couple Chris and Kate Tinker lost their baby Harry in May 2010, they said they felt so alone it was like they were the only people on the planet.

But the courageous couple turned their grief into a positive after setting up the charity Harry and Co and organising the ‘Angels’ walk’ for mums in a similar position.

Since then the cause has helped transform two rooms on the labour and neonatal ward and helped countless parents but despite raising £25,000 for maternity bereavement services at Warrington Hospital, 38-year-old Kate says the pain of losing Harry still makes life tough.

She added: “I still feel the repercussions now and it took me a while to want to go out and mix with other people as it shatters your confidence.

“I still feel disbelief, anger and all those other feelings of grief and will never get over what happened.

“You just learn to live with things as time goes on.”

Kate and Chris, who have been married for 10 years, turned to IVF after trying for a baby for three years and being told by doctors their infertility was unexplained.

Kate added it felt like ‘all their birthdays had come at once’ when the treatment worked first time but after 40 weeks and five days she noticed the baby had stopped moving and after a scan was told there was no heartbeat.

Harry had died after Kate’s placenta came away from the womb wall meaning he ran out of oxygen.

After their heartbreaking loss, Kate, who describes herself as a ‘doer’, was inspired to refurbish the maternity bereavement suite at the hospital after calling it a ‘dumping ground for the ward’.

The credit control employee for European Metal Recycling added: “The room needed some tender loving care and the charity spiralled from that.

“It makes it all worthwhile knowing the room is helping people and provided a comfortable environment to spend time in.

“Feedback like that is immeasurable.”

One of the charity’s valued volunteers will be speaking out in next week’s paper.

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