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

Yesterday, 14:08
Rolle College, Exmouth.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 9254-18-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Community volunteers have sealed a deal to reopen part of the mothballed Rolle campus for the Exmouth Festival.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
A la Ronde Assistant House Steward James Weckmueller winds a Grandfather clock dating back to around 1820 which was made by David Whitelaw of Edinburgh. Every Sunday at noon during March visitors to the National Trust property can watch all the clocks in the house being wound and set. Ref exe 0537-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Visitors to A la Ronde this month have been watching the clocks at the National Trust house being wound and set.

Read more
Thu, 15:40
A rugby themed easter egg trail is taking place along the Exe Estuary

A special Easter egg hunt inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off along the Exe Estuary Trail on Saturday, March 28.

Read more
Thu, 11:45
Ocean Blue. Ref exe 1212-33-14SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Leisure East Devon (LED) has announced it has agreed a 25-year lease to manage the Ocean Blue complex on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 09:13
Topsham Devon Air Ambulance Trust is open for business again after a recent shop refurbishment. Cutting the ribbon is Tom Robertson, Chrissie Peel, Nigel Hare, Martin Bell and Sarah Woolfenden. Ref ext 1296-13-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

One of Topsham’s two Devon Air Ambulance shops held its grand re-opening on Saturday, March 21.

Read more
Wed, 15:11
Bus service cuts have been opposed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council.

Cuts to bus services in Budleigh Salterton could leave the town ‘cut off’ and affect its young people, representatives have warned.

Read more
Tue, 11:20
Exeter Crown Court.

An ambulance driver based in Exmouth has admitted driving on a forged licence. Eion Crowley, who was sacked from his job by managers, was given a two-year conditional discharge at Exeter Crown Court.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
Ref exe rolle college

Rolle College will almost certainly re-open in May, seven years after it was mothballed, and host the Exmouth Festival .

Read more
Tue, 09:09
Bassetts Farm primary school year four pupil Abbie Clarke arranged a fund raising cake sale event for Red Nose Day at school this week and is pictured with her classmate Poppy Rowsell who helped her out  Ref exe 9431-11-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Brixington schoolgirl has raised £1,372.41 for the Red Nose Day appeal.

Read more
Mon, 14:51
Gun found in Littleham

An old sawn-off shotgun found in a garden in Littleham could have been used in a robbery, police said.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder