JEREMY Field and his wife Sarah lost their first son William at five and a half months to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 1989.
“You come to terms with cot death but you never really get over it. It is a horrible thing,” Jeremy explained.
They were living in Devon, moving to the Duntisbournes near Cirencester around 22 years ago. They have three other children, two daughters and a son, aged 28,23 and 20.
Speaking at Cirencester Hospital, where the consultant orthopaedic and hand surgeon runs a clinic, he added: “At that time we were told to put children on their front. Now they are putting children on their front and that is reducing numbers substantially.”
However, numbers of deaths have worryingly been on the increase.The Lullaby Trust, a charity offering support for bereaved families, as well as advice and research into SIDS, last year expressed concern at new statistics that are showing an increase in deaths for the first time in three years.
“They don’t know what is behind the increase,” Jeremy said. “But I think if they have a bit more money they might be able to find out.”
With this is mind Jeremy is planning to run the London marathon for the third and final time on April 28, raising vital funds for The Lullaby Trust to enable more research into SIDS.
“I will be 60 on March 26. I also ran the London marathon when I was 40 and 50 but this will certainly be my last ever time. I most definitely am never going to do this again!”
He has so far raised £4,255 (£ £5,145 with gift aid) towards his £15,000 target. “Realistically I might get £10,000,” he said. “Any donations are gratefully received no matter how small.”
Training is going well, but Jeremy is not looking at beating his previous times of 4.25 and 4.40. “I have two aims this time- one is to get round and two is to not die!,” he said. “I will finish no matter what, even if I have to walk it.”
It is important to stress that SIDS is rare, with 255 babies and toddlers dying every year in the UK. However, Jeremy is hoping that by raising as much money as he can, another family will be spared the heartache that he and his wife went through. “It was such an unexpected thing. Everyone has their own disasters in life. This was the biggest disaster we had. You come through it but it is still quite difficult to talk about,” he said. “I hope to raise awareness and get some more money to help with research to stop it happening.”
To sponsor Jeremy visit virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=jeremyfield&pageUrl=1
For more about The Lullaby Trust visit lullabytrust.org.uk