Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Mum Niki hoping to save babies’ lives with campaign

10:23 13 June 2014

Niki Cunningham, who is running an awareness month for vasa praevia. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4840-24-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Niki Cunningham, who is running an awareness month for vasa praevia. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4840-24-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

An Exmouth mother is marking the second anniversary of her son’s birth and tragic death by holding an awareness month for his condition.

Niki Cunningham founded the Harry Cunningham Trust with husband Jamie after their son Harry died aged 26 hours in June 2012, due to undiagnosed vasa praevia.

They founded the trust with the three aims of raising awareness of the disease, supporting bereaved parents and fundraising for the neonatal unit in Exeter, however Niki, 31, feared that the raising awareness aspect had taken a back seat.

To address this, she is running an awareness month for the whole of June through the trust’s Facebook page.

Niki, who is also mum to four-year-old William and 11-month-old Florence, said: “June is Harry’s month. He was born on June 8 and died on June 10, so the entire month of June is when I reflect on Harry. I wanted to not be sat at home thinking about what happened and making myself miserable and depressed, so I thought how can I do something beneficial and keep busy, and decided to do an awareness month for vasa praevia.”

The month started with the charity’s Facebook followers – the number of which increased by 1000 in the first week - being asked to change their profile pictures to the charity’s logo, and is now asking people to post a picture of themselves blowing a birthday kiss to Harry, while making a donation to the Trust.

This only started last Friday, but by Monday had already seen 150 pictures posted.

The trust has also been sharing stories of other families affected by vasa praevia – both those who have lost babies and stories of survival.

Niki said: “Knowing about vasa praevia and asking to be screened [at 20 weeks] can save babies’ lives. Screening for it takes just a couple of minutes, doesn’t involve any other expense, but if you just ask, like if you ask if it’s a boy or a girl, to be screened for vasa praevia they will do it nine times out of ten.

“For me it’s about having every single person who’s going to have children knowing about this, like everyone knows about Down Syndrome or heart defects.”

Vasa praevia is an often undiagnosed obstetric condition that causes the death of an otherwise healthy baby.

The Harry Cunningham Trust is also a stakeholder in a possible change of policy by the Department of Health to roll out a national screening programme for the condition, but while she waits for this to happen Niki is calling on mothers to take the initiative themselves.

“I’m taking it on myself to empower people with the knowledge so they can save their own babies, rather than waiting for someone else to tick the right box.”

For more on the awareness month visit www.facebook.com/HarrysTrust.

1 comment

  • Thank you for the lovely write up :)

    Report this comment

    Niki Cunningham

    Friday, June 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

16:04
Budleigh Salterton Gala Week parade. This year's gala princesses Carole Lord and Emily Wells with their page boys Harvey and Max Barett. Ref exb 22-16AW 8532. Picture: Alex Walton

Family fun in Budleigh

Read more

A fire crew from Exmouth was called out after reports of a gas leak in Budleigh Salterton on Saturday (May 28).

Read more
Volunteers helping to clean up the Exe Estuary in Exmouth

Nearly 100 volunteers braved the wet weather at Exmouth Local Nature Reserve to clean the internationally-designated site of rubbish.

Read more
10:30
A view of Sandy Bay beach and Devon Cliffs Holiday Park.

The owners of an Exmouth beach are celebrating a double awards success.

Read more
10:00

Mobile home owners in Topsham are being encouraged to apply for grants to make energy improvements to their properties.

Read more
06:30
Exmouth swimming pool. Ref exe 7620-34-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Refurbished swimming pool changing rooms are to be provided at Exmouth Leisure Centre.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30
Children's Hospice South West receives a cheque from Withycombe Methodist Church Group.

An Exmouth church has raised funds to provide vital support for families in need.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
One of the St Margaret Church choir ahead of performing at the Pentecost service.

Composer James Moriarty was delighted with St Margaret’s Church choir’s rendition of his Pentecost service.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Exmouth bus station. Ref exe 21-16SH 6102. Picture: Simon Horn.

Exmouth is to be left without a full bus station, after efforts to find a new location in the town failed.

Read more
Sunday, May 29, 2016

Travellers have been blasted by city councillors for the mess they left behind in Topsham’s Millennium Woods.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications