Heartbroken young parents speak out after baby Harrison 'born sleeping' just before Christmas

Harrison James-Roy McBride was born on Thursday, December 19 at Pinderfields hospital but sadly never took a breath. Photo provided by the family.
Harrison James-Roy McBride was born on Thursday, December 19 at Pinderfields hospital but sadly never took a breath. Photo provided by the family.

The heartbroken young parents of a baby that was stillborn just before Christmas have spoken out to raise awareness.

Amy Sprague, 18, and Joshua McBride, 21, both from Wakefield, were devastated when baby Harrison James-Roy McBride was 'born sleeping' on Thursday, December 19.

Baby Harrison was not due to arrive until January but mum Amy was shocked when her waters broke at 7.40am just six days before Christmas.

At 11am she was told that Harrison was in a breach position but she was too far dilated for an emergency c-section.

Baby Harrison was born at 2.23pm and despite the best efforts of the staff at Pinderfields Hospital, Harrison never took a breath.

Dad Josh said: "It all happened so quickly. At around 11 o'clock staff told Amy she was 8cm dilated and ready to give birth but they'd realised Harrison was breach.

"These things aren’t often heard about as they are so rare. Harrison came out breach but he also came out very fast.

"Staff later told us that it all happened so quick that they wouldn’t have had time for a c-section regardless.

"At 2.23pm Harrison James-Roy McBride was born. Unfortunately, he was born sleeping and after 30-40 minutes it wasn’t looking likely that he would wake up.

Josh added: "Being this young we never thought something like this would happen, Amy had no difficulties during pregnancy and it was a pretty straight forward one.

"We are truly devastated that this has happened to myself and Amy as it’s not something you often hear about. It’s not only affected us but it’s affected the whole family and friends.

"The support and love that we’ve received so far has been amazing and shows just how much little man was loved and appreciated. "

After the tragedy, Amy's foster aunt Kirsty Gelder, 42, from Flanshaw Park in Wakefield, set up a Go Fund Me page to help cover the costs of his funeral.

Bereaved parents no longer have to pay for the cost of their child's burial under the Children’s Funeral Fund for England scheme which was launched in July 2019 - but Kirsty hopes that the money can now be spent on making Harrison's send off extra special or perhaps creating jewellery from his ashes so they always have something to remember their son.

She said: "We were all so shocked when it happened that I just got my practical head on, I couldn't imagine having to think about planning a funeral after losing a child, especially so young. I didn't want them to think about how much it would cost.

"We later found out about the free scheme which was such a relief. Now they want to do something special with the money, like take his ashes to make jewellery so they always have a piece of him each.

"It's been a tough time and there's been a lot of tears. Over Christmas we got together as a family to write messages to Harrison on lanterns and set them off into the sky.

"It was emotional, but nice to do all together as a family."

Mum Amy has now spoken out to pay tribute to her baby boy.

She said:: "On the 19th December at 2.23pm we lost our son - however he will forever be in our hearts.

"We would like to share this story with the rest of you. Hopefully our story can shed some light on breach and stillborn births as it isn’t often you hear about them.

"We love you little man, we always will do."

Jen Coates, Director of Volunteering and Bereavement Support at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said: “We are so sorry to hear that baby Harrison died and our thoughts are with his parents Amy and Josh.

“When a baby dies, parents and families can feel very isolated as their world can be turned completely upside down. Sands is here to support anyone affected by the death of a baby. We offer emotional support and information through our Freephone helpline on 0808 164 3332 or email helpline@sands.org.uk

“We also have around 100 peer support groups throughout the UK where newly bereaved parents can speak to other bereaved parents who have been through a similar experience.

"This can help to normalise their feelings of grief and reassure them they are not alone. We provide a bereavement support app (www.sands.org.uk/app) and a moderated online community (www.sands.org.uk/onlinecommunity) where bereaved parents can log in to a safe space and seek support from each other whenever they might need it.”

If you would like to donate to the family's Go Fund Me page please click this link to be taken to the page.