Courageous Claire runs in memory of son


A BRAVE Enniskillen mother who lost her baby son to “cot death” ran finished an emotional marathon at the weekend in support of other families suffering the same heartbreak.
Claire Pringle ran the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in London on Sunday, October 9, in memory of her son Thomas, who tragically died of cot death when he was four-weeks-old in August, 2015.
Claire, who was joined on her quest by her Fermanagh friends Andrea and Chris Webb and David Cranston, was also raising funds for the Lullaby Trust, who helped her after baby Thomas passed away last year. She explained not only does the charity help families who suffer the tragedy of cot death, but funds vital research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“Less than 300 babies die from ‘cot death’ each year, so it doesn’t get the focus it used to, but the Lullaby Trust funds research into trying to work out what happens and why healthy babies are still ‘mysteriously’ dying with absolutely no reason or warning,” said Claire, who is the daughter of Archdeacon and Hilary Pringle.
“I really wanted to raise as much money as possible for the Lullaby Trust, to try and help avoid what happened to me, happening to even just one other person. My friends just wanted to help support, as they could see what SIDS had done to me.”
Explaining that after Thomas’ death the Lullaby Trust had given her a booklet of advice and had a website that helped her felt she wasn’t alone, Claire added: “The most important reason and why I ran for the Lullaby Trust, is for the research. I fundamentally believe that there was something that caused Thomas to die – a really healthy baby boy does not just suddenly die.
“I originally trained as a doctor, and I cannot accept that there wasn’t a physiological reason that he stopped breathing that night.”
Claire, who now lives in London, said Sunday’s marathon was “hard emotionally and physically but just knowing the money we were raising for the Lullaby Trust in Thomas’s memory kept me going” and thanked her friends and everyone at home for their overwhelming generosity. So far the group have raised over £9,000, with many donations coming from Fermanagh.
Courageous Claire also gave advice to other families suffering from the devastating loss of a baby: “Allow yourself to get through each minute and each hour, how you feel works or what is right for you. This is almost certainly going to be the hardest thing that you have ever experienced and your heart will unfortunately absolutely be broken.
“However, I do have advice for friends and work colleagues, please speak to those who suffer such a devastating tragedy – don’t just say nothing because you don’t know what to say – even if it is just a note to say I’m so sorry.
“It has been the people back home in Fermanagh that have really shown me and my family the warmth and kindness that I needed, ever since the day I flew back with Thomas to bury him.”

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