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Father shares heartbreaking story about the tragic loss of his son born prematurely at 20 weeks

A loving father has told the story of the tragic loss of his son who was born prematurely at just 20 weeks gestation.

Dave Lynham and his partner Saphron Rogers from Twigworth already had a three-year-old girl and were delighted to find they were expecting another baby.

Everything seemed to be proceeding as it should until 19 weeks when the couple realised Saphron’s amniotic sac was leaking. Dave said “[Saphron] was told she had to stay in hospital to be monitored in case she developed an infection. We were also told 50 per cent of ladies who have a broken water will have their baby early.”

“Saph was monitored to see how much amniotic fluid was around the baby. The levels were fluctuating with the amniotic fluid being good and sometimes not. After three days Saph was sent home.”

“We saw him moving and his heart beating.”

Less than two weeks later though, the couple went to Bristol to have a scan to see how the baby was doing.

“Saph was 20 weeks and four days pregnant when we went to have an in-depth ultrasound scan of the baby”, Dave said. “There was nothing identified when there which could have suggested anything was wrong.”

“We saw him moving and his heart beating.”

But that same day, 19 December, Saphron started to go into labour and was rushed to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Dave said “We went straight to the Women’s Centre in the hospital where Saph was seen in triage. Within 30 seconds of being there, Saph was on the floor needing to push.”

“A couple of minutes later, we were in the Snowdrop suite and our baby boy Charlie, was born at 7.55pm weighing 315 grams.”

“Charlie was showing signs of life, so we asked the doctors about next steps for him, such as intensive care. The consultant came to see us to say Charlie would not make it.”

“Charlie’s lungs were not developed so he was not breathing. His heart beat for two hours though like a little trooper.”

“We gave him cuddles and comfort and he passed away at 9.55pm.”

It was a “privilege” to hold Charlie

Dave talked about how grateful he was to the staff who did so much to help the family grieve and ensure that Charlie kept his dignity. They dressed the baby boy and took photos, as well as hand and footprints.

Despite the sadness, Dave felt privileged to be able to hold his son before he passed away.

Dave said “Not everyone is able to have the opportunity to hold their baby if they are born earlier than what Charlie was.”

“It was a privilege to be able to do so. The support from the midwives was really wonderful.”

“You do not realise how many people have been through this. When we were in the Snowdrop room, there was a heart shaped memorial with messages and posts on the board from others who’ve lost their baby.”

“It made me realise how often it happens as there was a note there about a baby who had been born in that room the day before.”

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Baby loss is a great sadness. The lives of all babies, born and unborn, matter. Charlie’s life mattered and everyone involved in this sad case could see that.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.