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New baby, new start for the Harrison family
NEW baby, new beginning as the saying goes, but never has this been truer than for the Harrison family.
A year ago, Simon and Mary-Jayne’s baby girl Jessica tragically died just eight hours after being born.
This was due to complications during labour at Southend Hospital.
Now, a year on, the devastated parents are looking forward to a happy future, following the safe arrival of baby Sophie.
Mr Harrison, 30, of Woodleigh Avenue, Leigh, said: “It has been quite an eventful year for us as a family.
“We see Sophie as a fresh start for us.”
The couple, who have a twoyear-old daughter, Rebecca, have endured a difficult 12 months.
From the tragedy of burying their baby girl, to losing Mrs Harrison’s father, Barrie Leaper, to cancer, they have had more grief to cope with than most families.
Mr Harrison, a teacher at St Thomas More School, Westcliff, added: “Mary-Jayne’s dad passed away from bowel cancer and two weeks earlier her nan died.
“Then three weeks later my nan died from cancer.”
Mrs Harrison said: “It was one thing after another.
“We certainly had our ups and downs.
“I think about Jessica every day, but you have to keep going.”
They had extra checks and growth scans to monitor the baby and, though it was difficult, they decided to return to Southend for the birth.
Sophie was born by Caesarean on September 3, weighing a healthy 8lbs 6oz.
Mrs Harrison, 29, said: “I felt reassured by the extra checks I’d had and by having a planned caesarean we wanted to avoid every single risk.”
Mr Harrison, who has had Reiki therapy to help him cope with the grief, said: “We didn’t want to feel hatred or negative feelings or it will linger.
“You have to accept and let go. A sense of forgiveness is needed.
“This is a time of everything starting to come together.
“Sophie is our fresh start, she symbolises happiness and fulfilment.
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