Bereaved family start year of fundraisingBy Becky Barnes
November 26, 2012
A family who lost their newborn baby in April have embarked on a year of fundraising in her memory.
Aimee Tejirian, 31, Frank Foster, 35, and daughter Susie, three, lost Grace 24 hours after she was born eight weeks early with a serious heart condition.
They have launched ‘A Year for Grace’ to raise funds for Support for the Sick Newborn and their Parents (SSNAP) and hope to boost their efforts with a Christmas Shopping Evening at Binfield Memorial Hall, next Thursday, November 29.
Aimee, from Binfield, said: “I hope we can find something positive to come out of Grace’s death and I hope we will raise lots of money to help other critically ill babies and their parents.”
Doctors hadn’t expected Grace to survive until birth after a 20-week scan revealed she had a rare condition called Ebstein’s anomaly.
Aimee said: “Termination was offered but it was never an option.
“If our baby was going to die, it was going to be nature’s choice, not ours.
“Our job was to give her every chance possible to live.”
Grace was born at the John Radcliffe in Oxford on April 18 and whisked into intensive care.
Aimee said: “When we saw our baby for the first time – she was so tiny, perfect and beautiful, dwarfed by wires and machines but alive and fighting none the less.
“Finally I had to face the cold, hard truth.
“Grace would not make it.”
After the doctors’ best efforts the couple made the heartbreaking decision to withdraw her life support when they were told Grace was “too ill to live”.
Mum and part-time law student Amiee said: “She died in the arms of parents who loved her so much – I hope she felt that love.”
Aimee and fiancé Frank, who works as a fireman and runs a cleaning business, say they are usually very private but hope sharing their story will help raise funds for SSNAP.
The charity helps the Neonatal Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, which supports families from all over the South of England.
Aimee raised £1,000 through a sponsored 100ft abseil at the hospital in September.
The Christmas Shopping Evening in Terrace Road South, from 7.15pm to 9pm, will include stalls selling jewellery, make-up and spa gifts, festive chocolate and cakes, art prints, Christmas decorations, home gifts and toys.
There will also be a raffle, mulled wine and mince pies. Entry is £1 per person.
The family is also planning events throughout 2013 and wants to hold a fun day on what would have been Grace’s first birthday.
The couple have also asked guests to give donations to the charity at their wedding on December 22.
For further information visit ayearforgrace.com and to donate visit www.mycharitypage.com/AYearForGrace.