A COUPLE whose daughter died at six weeks old have spoken of their pride that she was able to save the life of another baby.
Pete and Amanda Ridgwell, both 31, from Copmanthorpe, lost their daughter Emily May over a year ago when she became seriously ill soon after she was born and passed away at Martin House Children's Hospice in Boston Spa.
The couple approached doctors in order to donate Emily's organs to help other children and have subsequently learned that Emily's heart valves helped to save the life of a seven-month-old baby.
Yesterday, the couple celebrated the arrival of a son, Jack, who was born at 10am, but days before, they spoke to The Press about Emily's brave but tragic battle, and how she had helped another family.
Pete said: "The NHS Blood and Transplant department told us in August that a seven-month-old girl had used one of Emily's heart valves in a successful transplant operation - Emily would have been seven months in August so it had extra meaning to us that she was able to help a little girl with a similar birth date, whose family would have been going through a difficult journey at the same time as us. We are very proud of her."
It isn't known what caused Emily's death as despite numerous tests, nothing could be confirmed, and they were simply told that some babies just don't take to the world.
The last 11 days of Emily's life were spent in Martin House Hospice where they were able to spend time with their daughter in very comfortable surroundings with the care and support of the staff at the hospice.
"We got a large room to ourselves with her and a bed so we could sleep with her," Pete said, "It means you can do nothing else but be with your child while the hospice staff do all the work."
In Emily's honour - and to thank the hospice for the support it gave the family - Pete and Amanda held a charity ball at York Racecourse in January on what would have been her first birthday.
The event raised a remarkable £12,000 and they said they were overwhelmed by the kindness of friends, colleagues and family. They particularly thanked their employer Persimmon Homes and Quantum Estate Agents for their sponsorship of the event.
Martin House relies entirely on donations, legacies and fundraising to raise more than £3.5 million towards annual running costs of £4.9 million a year, to provide vital care and support for local children and their families.