Sick babies helped by grieving family

A MAN whose wife and son died just before Christmas last year has channelled his grief into raising money to help babies in special care at Lister Hospital, Stevenage.

Rishi Mistry, 34, of The Beacons in Great Ashby, had been married to Priya for seven years, and the couple were looking forward to the birth of their first baby when tragedy struck.

At eight months pregnant, Mrs Mistry suffered a brain haemorrhage and died. She was 34.

Their baby, named Jayden, was stillborn.

“Married life had brought us many happy memories, holidays and quality time with friends and family, and our dreams of having a family were beginning to turn into a reality,” said Mr Mistry.

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“On December 13 last year, Priya, who at the time was eight months pregnant, was sadly lost. No illness, no pain, nothing.

“On this day little baby Jayden was born, though did not make it.

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“It left me with difficult decisions and a life that I no longer recognise or feel comfortable in.”

As a focus, Mr Mistry, family, friends and colleagues decided to raise funds for state-of-the-art ventilators for the special care baby unit at Lister.

These ventilators, which cost �6,500 each, allow the medical team to manage a baby’s breathing without the need for intrusive procedures such as intubation.

Over the year, the team has taken part in a number of fundraising events. These have included three half marathons, a walkathon, a mountain climb, a bike ride and a raffle.

They have collectively raised more than �20,000.

Mr Mistry said: “After understanding that we wanted to raise money for the hospital that cared for Priya and Jayden in their last hours, and also during pregnancy, we went ahead and focused on equipment that was most required by the baby unit to enhance the amazing work the team does every day to ensure babies go on to live happy, healthy, full lives.”

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