Baby Coconut Curtis is inspiring his parents and a 26-strong team of their family and friends to raise £10,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice by completing the Great North Run.
Coconut – who was named for his nickname during mum Kate’s pregnancy – was born two months prematurely on November 13 last year.
However, despite fighting for 38 hours and astonishing doctors by breathing over his ventilator, Coconut died due to bleeding on the brain, caused by the trauma of his birth.
Kate, 34, and her husband Adam, 37, were supported at Martin House in the days following his death.
Kate said: “A consultant at the hospital recommended we go to Martin House. We were a bit wary, because we didn’t know what to expect, and initially we wanted to go home to be with family. But as soon as we walked in it was a haven; everyone was so amazing.”
Kate and Adam were able to spend a few days at Martin House with Coconut in one of its special cooled bedrooms, and they continue to receive bereavement support from the hospice. The couple affectionately named their son Coconut as a result of his nickname.
Kate said: “He was conceived while we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, so throughout the pregnancy Adam called him Coconut. When Adam visited him in the special baby unit he just said ‘Hello baby coconut’, and he opened his eyes. The doctors were amazed. We wouldn’t have called him that had he lived, but it was the only name he knew, and to have called him something else would have been dissociative.”
The care Kate and Adam received at Martin House has inspired them to raise money for the charity, as well as increase awareness of the work it does. Team Coconut has already raised more than £6,000 towards its £10,000 target for the Great North Run challenge.
Kate said: “I don’t know what we would have done had we had to go straight home from the hospital – it would have been so damaging.
“That’s why we want to raise money and awareness of Martin House, to help other people who have lost children.”
People can support Team Coconut at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coconut-curtis.