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

Yesterday, 16:48

Amended plans for an M&S food store on the site of Exmouth Bus Station have been backed by Exmouth Town Council.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:12

A motorcyclist from Exmouth has told a jury it is impossible he caused the death of his pillion passenger because he is such an experienced rider.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:59

A former barman has been cleared of taking part in a £80,000 drug trafficking operation

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Children in Red Class at Drakes primary school enjoyed a visit by Ken and Jill Beagley from the Armchair Puppet Theatre this week. The youngsters made their own puppets then performed a show for their classmates. Ref exb 2997-04-16SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A visit by Devon-based puppeteers to Drake’s Primary School has been hailed a huge success.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Ashley Haines and Ronnie Norman of Plantbased at their opening with Roger Bourgein. Ref exe 05-16TI 0243. Picture: Terry Ife

A new – and radically different – café opened earlier this week in Exmouth’s High Street.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:58
Bartek Golonko, winner of the Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer of the Year Competition for the South West region.

A young writer from Exmouth Community College is celebrating after winning a South West competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:49
Image of the proposed redevelopment of Exmouth's Q Club, submitted to East Devon District Council.

Plans to demolish an Exmouth nightclub and replace it with flats have been supported by Exmouth Town Council.

Read more
Mon, 16:30
Claire and Tarot Close

An Exmouth couple, who have run a small business in the town for three years, have claimed an ability to celebrate each other’s achievement is the reason for their success.

Read more
Mon, 15:15
A rare  Baird’s Sandpiper landing  at Seaton Wetlands. Picture: SUE SMITH

Action-packed programme of outdoor activities

Read more
Mon, 15:06
Leon Butt.

A drug dealer from Topsham has been jailed for almost 10 years.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°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

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications