A YORK mum whose son lived just “two precious days” is raising funds for a hospice that helped her through the tragedy – by shaving off her 4ft-long dreadlocks.

Jessica Herbert, 46, was given the devastating news that her son Oaken was diagnosed with a deadly genetic condition.

After the 12-week scan doctors discovered the baby had Edwards syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a third copy of all or part of chromosome 18.

Sadly, only one in 10 babies born with the condition live past their fifth birthday.

Tragic Oaken died two days after he was born in August, but Jessica said she was grateful to have been able to hold him and even Christen him before his death.

Following the pregnancy, Jessica, an arboriculturist at Askham Byram College, York, and her husband of 10 years Simon, 48, were supported by Martin House Children’s Hospice.

She decided to chop off the hair she has not cut in more than 11 years to raise funds so the hospice can help other families like hers.

Jessica, who also has daughter Willow, five, said: “We only had Oaken for two precious days, that’s all we had.

“He was a brave little man who had so much character but his medical difficulties were too severe and there was little the wonderful medical teams involved could do to help him, so we went to Martin House.

“We hear nothing about these places such as Martin House, until we need them. I’m just wanting to spread the word and let other people know my story.

“I have a wonderful husband and a special daughter, as well as family and friends who have helped support us throughout the last 12 months.

“Martin House provided support to us right from the start. They helped us write a care plan which ensured our objectives were articulated to the various medics involved. I feel so lucky that a small number of family and friends were able to meet Oaken and to be a part of his life.”

The transformational cut is set to take place on July 31 at the Deer Shed Festival Base Camp Plus event at Baldersby Park in Thirsk.

Jessica, who has already raised more than £5,000 for the Boston Spa hospice, added: “The support we have received from Martin House has been truly outstanding and has made such a positive difference to us. They continue to support us now with counselling and other support and we are so very grateful to them for this.”

Despite her trepidation at shaving off the knee-length dreadlocks, Jessica is determined to give back to the charity.

She said: “I’m absolutely terrified but also a bit excited at the prospect of no longer stepping on my hair, shutting it in doors and sweeping the floor of public loos whilst helping my daughter!”

To help boost Jessica’s fundraising, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-herbertdreadlockheadshave