Losing a son has led to Sharon helping 3,000 grieving families - The Coventry Observer

Losing a son has led to Sharon helping 3,000 grieving families

Coventry Editorial 14th Oct, 2022   0

A COVENTRY mum whose son was stillborn at almost full-term has now helped more than 3,000 other grieving families through the charity she set up in memory of her son.

The update from Sharon Luca-Chatha, who lost son Luca ten years ago this year, comes during Baby Loss Awareness Week which began on Sunday and runs until Saturday, October 9 to 15.

Sharon set up The Luca Foundation following his passing and has since raised thousands to buy and repair refrigerated cuddle cots for maternity units, neonatal intensive care units and paediatric wards.

Her goal through the charity is to fund enough cuddle cots for every maternity unit in Britain before turning her attention to cuddle blankets.

The cot acts as a refrigerator which keeps the body cold, allowing parents to have up to a week with their baby and even take them home with that equipment.

The 46-year-old said: “It is a parent’s worst nightmare to lose their child, our world had fallen apart.

“From the moment he died on the Monday inside my womb, to the Thursday when I gave birth to him, everything was in a daze.

“We were not ready for the next blow – the limited time we had with him, knowing we would then never see him again.

“After holding onto Luca for just a few hours we had to hand him over to be taken to the mortuary.

“This caused us such trauma, we just cried uncontrollably but looking back I realise it was a defining moment when I decided I wanted every parent to have access to a cuddle cot.

“Growth restriction was eventually given as the cause of death.”

She added she hoped when the post-mortem results came she was hoping they would reveal that Luca had some sort of defect that shortened his life to give her a ‘sense of closure’.

When Sharon fell pregnant for her second son Ky, he came up small on the growth chart at 24 weeks, exactly as Luca had.

“From then on I was monitored weekly and, on my persistence, he was induced early.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of him going past 36 weeks in the pregnancy because that’s when we lost Luca.

“He was delivered exactly a week before Luca’s birthday and the cord was wrapped around his neck twice, so if he had gone any longer he would have suffocated in my womb and we’d have lost a second child.”

The couple’s hopes for a third child were dealt a blow when Sharon was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia following a car accident.

Despite battling with chronic symptoms she is determined it will not impede her plans to grow the charity.

As part of her fund-raising efforts, Sharon launched two books and an eco-friendly clothing line.

The first ‘Angel Warriors’ is a personal account of the past decade and Sharon is planning to release an audio version of the book by the end of the year.

‘Why Did Grandad Die?’ is an illustrated children’s book designed to help three to nine-year-olds understand bereavement.

The book is available in schools.

She said: “I would like this to very much be a part of mental health awareness for children.

“It would be a good form of illustration to say ‘there’s nothing to be scared of’.

“The title for Angel Warrior came to me while I was grieving for Luca.

“This book took me about a year to write – I struggled to get through the first couple of chapters because they made me emotional.

“My son up there in the sky is the angel and I’m the warrior down here having to live my life without him.”

Both books are available on Amazon for £9.99 each.

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