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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Brave Cumbrian parents tell how their faith helped them cope with loss of son

A Cockermouth couple’s son died from a rare condition just three days after he was born.

Robinsons family photo
Andrew and Jane Robinson with baby Samuel

Samuel Isaac Andrew Robinson was born to Andrew and Jane, of Rose Lane, on January 6.

He died on January 9 because he suffered from trisomy 13, a rare chromosome abnormality.

The couple were told that their baby had the condition last autumn and that children with it rarely live beyond 12 months.

They faced the heartbreaking decision of whether to carry on with the pregnancy, despite knowing their time with their child was going to be short.

Andrew, 44, a vet at the town’s Millcroft Veterinary Group, said: “It was very difficult but we thought it was wrong to end his life.

“We have a faith and think that life is very special. When Samuel was created it was a miracle.

“We made the decision not knowing how long we would have with him but we didn’t regret it at all.

“We knew Samuel’s life would be brief, so to a point we were able to prepare for that. You almost start the grieving process before he is born.

“You go through such a wave of emotions.

“It is still hard when death happens. Nothing can prepare you for that.”

They said he developed his own character and knew his parents’ voices.

Andrew added: “He used to like it when Jane rubbed the side of his cheek and his mouth would curl up almost into a smile.”

The couple have two other children, Hannah, four, and Eliana, 19 months.

Hannah has created a memory box for Samuel and Jane and Andrew will do the same with Eliana when she is older as they said it was important for the children to be involved.

Jane added: “When we had a small service of dedication in his room he lay quietly in his cot holding Andrew’s finger, and when there was nobody’s hand to hold he gently held his blue bunny that Andrew had bought for him.”

The couple said their grief was made easier by the support they had received.

Samuel’s funeral was held at Lorton Street Methodist Church on January 16 and led by the Rev Adrian Thompson.

Andrew and Jane will split donations between the special baby care unit at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, and Soft UK, which supports families affected by trisomy 13.

Also called Patau syndrome, trisomy 13 involves a chromosome defect which occurs in one of about every 10,000 newborns.

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