In Memory Of Jon-Lee
Michelle Fisher is organising a sponsored Mile in Memory walk as part of our Save a Baby Month campaign in memory of her son Jon-Lee.
I am organising a sponsored Mile in Memory walk in Northampton to help raise vital funds for more research into what causes of cot death and to support parents who have lost a child in this way. I also want to promote more public and media awareness.
On February 12th 1993, I gave birth to my first son. He entered the world six weeks early after a traumatic labour. I only got to cuddle my beautiful baby boy for a few minutes before he was rushed to the special care baby unit.
Two weeks later tragedy struck
Tragically, two weeks after Jon-Lee's birth my husband died in a road traffic accident, leaving me to bring up our new son, Jon-Lee, and his two elder sisters, Jade and Joanne, without the support and love of their daddy.
Exactly six months to the day after my husband's death, August 26th 1993, I awoke to the sound of the birds singing and the sun shinning. Upon entering my son's bedroom I immediately felt something was wrong. I glanced over to see Jon-Lee lying there with a blanket partially covering his head. I pulled the blanket away and saw his blue lips and his still little body.
One of the neighbours looked at me with tears in his eyes
I went straight into shock. I ran down the stairs in a daze and phoned an ambulance. I remember kicking and screaming at my neighbours' front doors. The neighbours came in to try and
The ambulance drivers arrived and they rushed Jon-Lee to our A&E department. I had to follow separately because they were still working to save Jon-Lee. When I arrived at the hospital I was put in a side room with tropical fish and a telephone which made it more evident to me that Jon-Lee was dead.
Under the weather? She's just lost her son!
Two CID officers arrived. They were the coldest, most arrogant people I have ever met in my life. One of the officers said to me: ' I know you're a bit under the weather today but we will need to interview you.' At this point my mum jumped in and said: "Under the weather? She's just lost her son; how can she be a bit under the weather?"
I shall never forget those policemen. They made me feel as though they believed I had murdered my son. A year after Jon-Lee's death I made a complaint and I received a written apology on special headed paper saying the two policemen involved had been spoken to and that my son's death was the only cot death they had attended. To me they should have had some sort of training in how to speak with bereaved parents.
Did his dad take him to be in heaven with him?
The week after Jon-Lee's death was crippling. Waiting for the post mortem results. Wondering if it was something I had done wrong. Was the steriliser too dirty? Did I not love him enough? Did his dad take him to be in heaven with him?
The day of Jon-Lee's funeral, such a tiny white coffin (I am now in tears whilst writing this). What else is there to say except such a tiny white coffin? I was still in shock. I remember looking at everyone around me crying. However I just could not cry. I felt like I wasn't really there. I was in a dream or watching from a distance.
I will never be the person I was before Jon-Lee died
After the funeral my life went further and further downhill until I had a nervous breakdown. I will never be the person I was before Jon-Lee died. I miss him every day. The grief you feel never truly goes away. I believe you learn to live beside your grief. You make peace with your grief. You have an understanding.
Fourteen years have now passed since Jon-Lee's death and I am only now in a place within myself were I want to be. I have just completed my training as a counsellor and I am about to do my Befriender training with FSID, so that I can support other families who have lost a child to cot death.
I now have a four-year-old daughter Billie-Mae. She was a CONI baby.
In memory of Jon-Lee Pack 12/02/93 - 26/08/93