Team Eliza from Fenland will be running GEAR 10k to raise money for bereavement charity Theresa’s Tiny Treasures in memory of baby

Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane.
Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane.

Grieving parents Sarah and Liam Chapman want to turn the tragedy of losing their stillborn baby into something positive by fundraising for a one-woman charity that helps bereaved families.

Grieving parents Sarah and Liam Chapman want to turn the tragedy of losing their stillborn baby into something positive by fundraising for a one-woman charity that helps bereaved families.

Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane for Theresa's Little Treasures a chairty run by Theresa McGrath.

Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane for Theresa's Little Treasures a chairty run by Theresa McGrath.

Around 50 of Sarah and Liam’s family, friends and supporters from across Fenland will be joining them in the Grand East Anglia Run in May to raise money for Theresa’s Tiny Treasures, a charity run by retired midwife Theresa McGrath, which helps families of stillborn babies at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Sarah and Liam say Theresa helped greatly following the stillbirth of their daughter Eliza Jane on February 17 by providing emotional support as well as priceless keepsakes of their little girl.

Sarah, a teacher from King’s Lynn, said: “It was such a shock, I had a perfectly normal, low-risk pregnancy with no problems at all. I went into labour naturally and went into hospital to have our baby.

“It was at the hospital we found out she had died the day before. The midwife put a heart monitor on to check how the baby was doing and couldn’t find a heartbeat.

Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane for Theresa's Little Treasures a chairty run by Theresa McGrath.

Sarah and Liam Chapman are trying to raise as much money as possible in memory of their stillborn daughter Eliza Jane for Theresa's Little Treasures a chairty run by Theresa McGrath.

“At first they tried to reassure us. But then the doctor came and did a scan and that’s when they told us ‘we’re really sorry but your baby has died’ – it was such a terrible shock.

“We had gone into hospital to have a baby – having a stillborn baby was not even an option, we never considered it.

“Everything had been so normal and I was in natural labour so we really were unprepared for her to be stillborn,” said Sarah, who had to go through giving birth to Eliza because it is too dangerous to perform a Caesarean when a baby has died.

The couple, who praised the medical staff for their outstanding care, were given time with Eliza and offered support from Theresa.

“She talked to us and because she had some medical knowledge it helped. She offered to take casts of Eliza’s hands and feet and pictures of us with her.

“We made the snowdrop a symbol for Eliza because they were the flowers that were out when she was born and Theresa gave us a snowdrop set in clear resin so it is preserved and will never die.

“She was so thoughtful and supportive. She brought along an outfit and a blanket for Eliza to wear and talked to us about arranging a funeral.

“She organises funerals for some families who find it too much, but I organised Eliza’s as I’m a very organised person and it gave me something to focus on.

“Now we want to raise as much money for Theresa as we can so she can help more families like ours.

“We have over 30 friends together with other volunteers joining us in the GEAR next month, many of them are from the Tydd St Giles area because that is where Liam is from and his dad, Paul Whittaker, who still lives there will be cheering us on on the day, and Liam’s sister Sian Whittaker, who also lives in the village, will be joining the runners.

“Some of our friends have never done a run before but they are determined to take part and will be walk-running the 10k,” said Sarah, who added they will have to wait several months to find out why Eliza died. “We have a few ideas, but it is useless to speculate. We have been told the post mortem results could take three to four months, and then they might not show why it happened,” said Sarah, who has been amazed by the level of support.

“We put something up on Facebook and we had raised almost £2,000 in 48 hours – which is fantastic. We have had T-shirts made for race day with Team Eliza on them and we have a Justgiving page,” she added.

To support Sarah, Liam and Team Eliza visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runforelizajane