‘My little boy died on Christmas in his festive pyjamas just three years after his brother’
Stephanie and Adam Curry’s first son lived for just 40 minutes, and the couple faced a second tragedy when their little boy, Teddy, died on Christmas Day last year.
By Ann Cusack & Zoe Forsey Lifestyle Editor
- 13:43, 1 DEC 2020
Stephanie and Adam Curry’s world fell apart when their gorgeous little boy, Louis, died in December 2016.
Then just three years later, on Christmas Day last year, they had to say goodbye to their two-year-old son, Teddy, as he lost his battle with a rare genetic condition.
The brave little boy was wearing his new Christmas pyjamas when he died in his heartbroken mum’s arms. Stephanie, a 34-year-old nurse, says: “Teddy was born one year after Louis, both boys were born just before Christmas and Teddy died at Christmas. “It gives me great comfort to know that my boys are together now. Before his death, Teddy completed a bucket list, which included a visit to Santa, a paddle in the sea, trick a treating, pumpkin picking, and visiting Blackpool lights.”
Adam and Stephanie met 14 years ago and were delighted when she fell pregnant in 2016 with their first child. The pregnancy went well but at 20 weeks the scan showed their baby had excess fluid around his brain. Tests showed he had the most severe form of spina bifida and they were advised to end the pregnancy. After much agonising, they opted for a compassionate miscarriage at 21 weeks, on December 4 2016. Stephanie, from Liverpool, says: “I had to take a tablet and I went into labour. We were heartbroken. We didn’t want our boy to suffer any longer and it seemed like the kindest choice. It took three days for the baby to be born and it was horrendous.”
Baby Louis lived for 40 minutes. The couple had the chance to baptise him and say goodbye. Stephanie says: “The coroner insisted on a full inquest for Louis which was very harrowing.”
The couple were anxious to try for another baby but were warned the chances of another baby with spina bifida were dramatically increased. Stephanie fell pregnant in March 2017. Scans showed no problems at all and the couple were hugely relieved. Baby Teddy was born on December 7, 2017 almost exactly a year after his big brother, Louis. Stephanie says: “I had a water birth and it was lovely, so peaceful. We couldn’t wait to meet our baby.”
Baby Teddy at first appeared perfectly healthy but medics quickly realised he was struggling to maintain his temperature and he was rushed to special care. Though he was allowed home, five days on, his problems continued. Stephanie says: “Teddy’s development was slower than other babies and we were worried about him. But the doctors told us not to worry, that it might not be anything serious. We were in denial too; we didn’t want to see the problems. We had lost one baby and we wanted everything to be OK this time. He was a lovely little boy, we adored him, and we just wanted to be parents.”
In July 2018, Teddy was diagnosed with peroxisomal disorder, a rare genetic, metabolic condition. His devastated parents were told he was deaf and was also losing his sight. Stephanie says: “We were heartbroken. We didn’t know how long Teddy would live but we knew he wouldn’t make it to adulthood.”
Determined to make the most of their time, Adam and Stephanie embarked on a bucket list of adventures for their little boy, which included paddling in the sea, riding a donkey, having his face painted, seeing Father Christmas, watching a Liverpool FC game, visiting the Blackpool lights, trick a treating, and bouncing on a bouncy castle. Teddy attended Liverpool v Newcastle on Boxing Day 2018 with his family where he met Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold. Stephanie says: “Teddy was a lovely, smiley little boy. He loved all the attention and he really cheered people up, wherever he went. He was full of mischief and brought such light and happiness for us. He loved listening to classical music and also to whistling! I downloaded the world whistling championships onto my phone so we could play it for him wherever we went.”
But during 2019, Teddy began suffering seizures and his health deteriorated. In December he was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties but was allowed home again on Christmas Eve. Stephanie says: “Teddy loved Christmas because of the lights and the fuss; he liked anything sensory because he could sense the lights despite his blindness. We had put up a tree and we bought him lots of presents. We also booked a holiday for him, but we knew the end was coming. We had been to see Santa and had bought Christmas pyjamas for Teddy to match with his cousins. On Christmas Eve, Teddy slept with us and Adam and I took it in turns to watch over him.”
On Christmas Day, at lunchtime, Teddy died in his mother’s arms wearing his Christmas pyjamas. Stephanie says: “Teddy opened his eyes and looked at us both for the last time. And then, very peacefully, he passed away. It was totally heart-breaking but also we knew that his struggle was at an end.”
Teddy’s funeral was held on January 3 this year, where his parents chose ‘How Long Will I Love You,’ and ‘Lullaby’, and Stephanie also wrote a poem.
Celebrities open up about their harrowing miscarriages and devastation at losing a baby
Lacey Turner, Jane Danson, Izzy Judd and Natasha Kaplinsky have all suffered heartbreaking miscarriages – here, they bravely tell their stories
By Amanda Evans
- 17:02, 14 OCT 2020
- Updated17:10, 14 OCT 2020
Dealing with the heartbreak and trauma of losing a pregnancy is a grief that never leaves you. And it’s more common than many think with around one in four pregnancies in the UK ending in miscarriage. A new Channel 5 documentary Miscarriage: Our Story, on tomorrow looks at several raw and personal accounts of men and women who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy. The show also tells the stories of celebrities who open up about their own heartbreaking experiences of miscarriage.
Lacey Turner, EastEnders actress
Eastenders star Lacey was 29 and seven weeks pregnant when she suffered her first miscarriage. She had started bleeding heavily and suffered stomach cramps. Lacey, who plays Stacey Slater in the BBC soap explained: “In my gut I knew it wasn’t right.”
Adding: “I went back to work the next day, carried on like nothing had happened, which actually makes me really sad now looking back. I was probably walking around feeling so heartbroken yet nobody would have had a clue. There’s this whole taboo about not speaking about pregnancy and keeping it a secret until your 12 weeks and we sort of said it’s so early so don’t tell anybody.”
Having a baby was important for her and her husband Matt, who she married in 2017 and the pain of losing a much wanted child was heartbreaking. “I just felt so empty. I’ve gone from being so excited and we waited so long for this baby to feeling numb I guess.”
Lacey fell pregnant again. She said: “We got to seven weeks again and the same thing happened and it was so much worse than the last time. It was so much more blood. “I was so stressed out because we found out that there was still a tiny bit of the foetus left stuck in the lining of the cervix so therefore you can’t try again but I mean we’re talking about something that is the size of a grain of rice and I think for us that was really horrible because I felt like there’s still a bit of this baby stuck inside me and you know you just want it out.”
Finally after four months, she had an operation to remove the fetal tissue.
Lacey then fell pregnant again but as before, she started to bleed again seven months into her pregnancy. She explained: “I was sitting at home on Sunday and I started bleeding so I was like oh here we go again.”
Her doctor carried out a scan and told her the baby was still there but that he was prescribing her progesterone as her levels were low. Lacey said: “Right up until the end I thought until I have the baby in my hands and she’s breathing and alive and kicking then I can’t relax.”
Their baby girl, Dusty, was born in July 2019. Lacey and Matt are also expecting another child due in February. She said: “I feel so lucky to have her really. She’s changed our lives in so many ways. I feel a bit emotional. She’s incredible she really is.”
Lacey, 32, feels strongly that miscarriage should be talked about openly. She said: “Had I opened my mouth and asked someone a simple question of have you ever experienced anything like that I would have known that actually I would have had a handful of people to speak to and I wouldn’t have been lonely at all.”
Jane Danson, Coronation Street actress
Jane married actor Robert Beck in 2005 and they have two sons, Harry and Sam, but when she fell pregnant for a third time there was heartbreak for the couple. Jane explained: “I was actually folding clothes up for a friend who was pregnant at the time and it just said kind of a bit sad to put these away and my husband just said ‘well, you know if we get pregnant again we’ll just buy some more’ and I thought OK, so that obviously promoted a conversation and then quite soon afterwards we found out that we were pregnant for the third time so we were obviously really happy.”
The couple weren’t prepared for what they would be told at the 12 week scan. Jane said: “I remember lying down and she said, I won’t turn the screen around but don’t be worried, and then the room went really quiet. I just had a feeling, I knew something wasn’t right. And I remember she said you are pregnant, and that’s when my heart just sank because I knew that it had probably gone wrong, or the baby had died. Then they confirmed that that was it. but she didn’t turn the screen around, and I always remember this. She didn’t and I just wanted to see it, whatever stage it was at. i just wanted to see”
It took Jane three years to fully open up about how she was feeling. She said: “I don’t know why it just festered and lingered for a long time and I couldn’t find the words. I suppose for somebody who never stops talking it’s quite unusual for me.”
Well meaning people would tell her not to worry as she already had two children. Jane said: “Of course they’re my worlds and of course it goes without saying but at the same time I just felt I know but I wanted that baby. I wanted that baby as much as my other children.”
Natasha Kaplinsky, journalist and broadcaster
Natasha met her husband Justin at an awards ceremony and they married in 2005. After focusing for so long on her career, starting a family was a priority for the couple. After falling pregnant, Natasha was having her scan when she saw the crestfallen look on the sonographer’s face. She said: “He just said ‘I’m so sorry would you like some time to yourself’. It just took me ages to understand that he meant that the pregnancy wasn’t going to work and then he left me in the room with Justin and it just kind of sunk in that actually that excitement was just for nothing.”
The devastating news floored Natasha, who had longed so much for a baby. She said: “Just that sense of being a barren woman.That’s what haunted me, that I was never going to be able to make him a father. It just broke my heart.”
Natasha was referred to the recurrent miscarriage clinic at Saint Mary’s Hospital in London. The 48-year-old went on to have two children, Arlo and Angelica. She said: “After all the sadness and the fear I just couldn’t believe that there had been this miracle. Any baby is a miracle anyway but for me it just felt like this was the most monumental miracle that these two babies were in our lives.”
Izzy Judd, musician and writer
Izzy and husband Harry, a drummer with McFly, started trying for a family three or four months after they got married. Izzy suffered with polycystic ovaries which make it difficult to conceive naturally, the couple decided to try IVF. After falling pregnant, their dreams were soon shattered. She explained: “It was Christmas Day night and I woke up it must have been about three-o’clock in the morning and there was just a really little bit of light coming through the curtains and I went to the loo and it was just like a horror scene just this bright red and the physical sensation of having a miscarriage of actually passing a baby even at seven weeks and three days it was. I’ll never forget that that physical feeling. It just fell and I just knew and I couldn’t look I just didn’t I just remember shouting to Harry it’s gone we’ve lost the baby.”
Izzy was devastated and the pain deepened when she saw families out with buggies or saw pictures of babies in magazines. She said: “You can’t help but feel responsibility you can’t help but think what if I can’t give Harry a family. What if I can’t give his mum and dad grandchildren. My parents randchildren.”
On her second IVF attempt in 2015 is he became pregnant again and gave birth to daughter Lola in January 2016. Izzy explained: “She was in my arms and it was just so ,surreal and magical and terrifying all at once.”
The couple went on to have a son kit in 2017.
- Miscarriage: Our Story will be broadcast on Channel 5 at 10pm on Thursday 15th October, and coincides with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
- Miscarriage Association offers support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy. Call 0192 4200 799