Redhouse mother Wendy Prince, 27, aims to raise a lot of money for the Foundation for Study into Infant Deaths (FSID) at a masquerade ball on Saturday 4 May at the De Vere Hotel.
It takes place just over three years after the sudden death of her five month old Oliver.
Explaining the tragedy Wendy said: “It was a normal day and a normal evening. I discovered Oliver as I was going to bed; I did CPR and the paramedics did everything they could. I was one of those women who hear about cot deaths and say to themselves it would never happen to me. There was no reason why he should have died, but it’s every mother’s nightmare.”
Despite being in total shock, the scrutiny of a police investigation started immediately.
Then Wendy discovered that Oliver had been taken to Oxford for a post-mortem without anybody telling her.
“At one time we were trying to understand what 10 different people were telling us when it was difficult to comprehend even one; it was an utter mess," she said.
“Oliver was brought back to Swindon after the post-mortem and my partner and I were able to bathe him before we said good-bye. My mother-in-law was wonderful; she took over all the arrangements for the funeral.”
Wendy’s daughter Amber was four at the time, and provided a focus. “I really don’t know what I would have done without her,” she said.
But even in her time of extreme grief Wendy was able to think of our parents who might be faced with tragedy explaining: “We seemed to spend so much time in the morgue at the GWH; when we saw Oliver he was laid in a cloth over a kind of a washing up bowl. I really didn’t want other parents to go through the same experience so I donated his moses basket.”
Wendy fell pregnant with Noah three months after Oliver died and was given extra support from her health visitor through the FSID’s Care of Next Infant programme (CONI), which includes extra visits and checks.
Praising the service Wendy said: “My health visitor was amazing. My head was still all over the place when I knew I was going to have another baby, and my fears were made worse when I was told I was having another boy because cot death is more prevalent in males. The health visitor came for a whole year; she made such a difference.”
The last three years have been a turmoil which Wendy is starting to emerge from. Describing her more recent experiences she said: “My partner left me and I couldn’t carry on with my nursing studies.
“It’s also sad when people don’t know how to handle somebody who has had a traumatic experience. Some parents ignored me in the playground; I felt like some kind of alien. But I’m so much stronger now and am ready to tell my story.”
Tickets for the ball include a three course meal and music by the Nathan Jones Allstars Jazz Band and cost £25 each.
Appealing for support Wendy said: “You don’t have to have experienced a cot death. The ball is for all people who have a concern for children. It will be a fun event and together we can make a difference.”
For ticket details mail: email@example.com
Catch with the latest and also the auction prizes on offer on Wendy’s FSIDS masquerade ball Facebook page