Stevenage dad is taking on Great South Run in memory of his baby boy

Emma and Rob Jarvis with William's aunt Nadine Ball (left). Picture: Emma Jarvis.

Emma and Rob Jarvis with William's aunt Nadine Ball (left). Picture: Emma Jarvis. - Credit: Archant

A devastated dad is taking part in the Great South Run on Sunday in memory of his son, who was stillborn last year.

Last March, Stevenage couple Emma and Rob Jarvis were looking forward to welcoming their second child into the world - a little brother for their son Sebastian, who is now five.

But their world fell apart when they were told by doctors at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital that their baby had died in the womb.

Emma said: “Our family was torn apart by the tragedy of stillbirth. Our beautiful boy, William, died at 39 weeks from a rare complication of pregnancy.”

The family were given excellent support from the midwifery team at Lister Hospital, as well as from stillbirth and neonatal death charity SANDS.

Rob said: “It’s almost a taboo subject. People don’t want to talk about it, but SANDS has brought it into the public domain. They particularly helped me with information on how to handle returning to work. We have also met some amazing people in the same situation as us.”

Now Rob and William’s aunt, Nadine Ball, are taking part in the Great South Run in Portsmouth on Sunday to raise money for SANDS and have so far raised more than £2,000.

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Emma said: “Anything you can spare would be greatly appreciated and would make an amazing difference to families all over the UK going through the most awful of tragedies.

“Beautiful babies should not be taken from us. No parent should ever have to bury their child. Noone should feel this pain. Please help us reduce the number of people facing this in the future.”

Happily, five weeks ago Emma gave birth to a baby boy, George. Rob said emotions ran understandably high throughout the pregnancy, but that the midwifery team at Lister Hospital offered support that was second to none.

He said: “The team at Lister have been amazing and have gone above and beyond their duty. The last week of the pregnancy we found particularly difficult, but they hooked us up to a monitor every day. Before that, every other week we went in for blood tests or scans.”

To sponsor Rob and Nadine, visit

For more information about SANDS, visit