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Family to hold charity memorial service in memory of ‘perfect’ son, Jacob

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 January 2018

Terry Devine, Karen Johnston who lost their son Jacob five days after he was born, pictured with their daughter Sofia.

Terry Devine, Karen Johnston who lost their son Jacob five days after he was born, pictured with their daughter Sofia.


A Worle couple who tragically lost their son just five days after he was born now hope to help others like them.

Terry Devine, aged 41, and Karen Johnston, aged 37, welcomed their baby boy Jacob into the world on January 13 but after complications with their home birth, he was rushed to hospital and died a few days later.

The pair, who have a three-year-old daughter called Sofia, said they were ‘heartbroken’ and ‘destroyed’ when Jacob died and have struggled to come to terms with what happened.

Jacob was breached at birth and was deprived of oxygen for 20 minutes.

He was rushed to St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol by ambulance but died on January 18 from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy after contracting pneumonia in his lungs.

Terry told the Mercury his ‘handsome’ young boy seemed ‘perfect’ but described the whole ordeal as ‘terrifying’.

He added: “It felt like a dream. It was an absolute tragedy and it has been a very difficult year for us.

“I had a lot of hopes and dreams for how I would raise my son and what I would do and they were all smashed and taken away in a matter of days, I was destroyed.”

Karen said the year had been especially difficult for her after forming a bond with Jacob during her pregnancy.

She said: “I went on a bereavement retreat with people who had gone through similar things which did help a bit, along with some counselling but putting our focus on Sofia really helped with everything.”

The couple have now decided to organise a number of charity events for Cots For Tots, a charity which built the room Jacob stayed in at St Michael’s.

Terry said: “We thought we would take something tragic and bring something good from it.

“We are inviting people who have lost a child right from conception through to birth to a service of remembrance.”

The service, titled Jacob’s Choir, will be held on January 13, a year since he was born, at the Holy Trinity Church in South Road.

The event, which runs from 6-7pm, will include live music, poetry and a memorial service.

The couple will also host a fundraising day on January 20 at Emmanuel Church in Oxford Street which will run from 2-5pm.

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