A COUPLE will mark the fifth anniversary of their baby son's birth and death by taking part in next month's Great North Run to raise funds for a charity for premature and sick babies.
Catherine Lupton and Andy Sykes' fourth child Joseph was born at York Hospital on August 29, 2009, when Catherine was only 25 weeks into her pregnancy.
Joseph weighed just 640gs and was transferred to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough but died in Catherine's arms there, nine hours after he was born.
Catherine, from Armoury Road in Selby, has told in a blog of his traumatic delivery and death, revealing how medics had advised it was in his best interest to let him fall to sleep as he was becoming unresponsive.
"How I agreed I will never ever know, but as his Mummy I knew I didn’t want him to suffer and so took all pain into my heart when I said ‘Yes’ to turning his life support off," she wrote.
"We had Joseph baptised minutes afterwards with the amazing team who tried to save him. They were standing by us all and then he was placed into my arms. The nurse explained that he wouldn’t feel any pain as she took his tubes away from him and he would just fall to sleep peacefully.
"Joseph Elliott John died in my arms at 8.40pm that night. My fourth child who was to complete our bubble. Two boys and two girls! I felt like the luckiest person alive weeks before and at that moment it had all changed.
"He only weighed 640g but his life has left the biggest imprint upon my heart forever and his strength for those nine hours has made me a better person forever."
She said she had decided in the New Year to mark what would have been Joseph's fifth birthday by taking part in five fundraising activities in his memory through the year for the charity Bliss, and has already competed in the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere.
"After the run we intend to carry on with further 10ks," she said, adding that she campaigned in North Yorkshire for Bliss and had recently set up Selby's first Family Support Group for families who had had babies born very early.
For more information, go to bliss.tributefunds.com/fund/joseph+elliott+sykes