‘Wonderful grandma’ on awards shortlist

Brenda Staines, second from right, in a family photograph.
Brenda Staines, second from right, in a family photograph.

A grandmother from the Morpeth area, who died in December, has been shortlisted for a national accolade.

The Tommy’s Awards, hosted by baby charity Tommy’s, were established to recognise people’s efforts in relation to families who have been touched by pregnancy complications, or the loss of a baby.

Brenda Staines, who was 81, is among the finalists for the Haven Act of Kindness Award – in honour of people who have gone above and beyond with an act of kindness to support a family who has gone through a pregnancy complication or loss.

She was nominated by granddaughter Vicki Rees, a 33-year-old primary school teacher also from Morpeth, for the support she gave during her years of recurrent baby loss sadness.

Vicki said: “My husband and I started trying for a baby following our wedding in August 2009. We sadly lost our first baby the following March.

“We went on to lose another baby again the following March and I was rushed in for emergency surgery and ended up in intensive care with complications. Again, our lives fell apart.

“When we found out I was pregnant for the third time we were so anxious. We once again suffered a heart-breaking loss and lost our third baby.”

In October 2012, following a fourth pregnancy, miracle baby girl Rosie Mae was born. She is now five years old.

Sadly, the journey did not end, and Vicki was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery and a fifth baby was lost.

Vicki added: “I could not have got through these years without my wonderful and amazing grandma. She is the most positive woman I have ever met and has held my hand every second of the way when all I could do was cry.

“She is my rock, she means everything to me and I can honestly say her love, positivity and support got me through.”

Sadly, Brenda lost her battle to cancer on December 1. She died peacefully in her bed, holding Vicki’s hand.

She said: “It was heart-breaking losing her. Sadly, the only downside of having such an incredibly close relationship with such a wonderful lady is when we have to say goodbye.

“I know my grandma will see my angel babies and this gives me comfort for my babies that I have lost.

“I honestly don’t know what Rosie and I will do without her, but I am determined to keep her memory alive in our home and in our family.”

The Tommy’s Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on March 16.