Little Irla Harmony Egglestone was just under a month old when she lost her brave fight for life after being born with Down’s Syndrome and a heart condition which medics were unable to treat.
Irla was born two weeks prematurely back in July, weighing in at 6lb 10oz after being delivered by caesarean section at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Irla’s parents Glenn Egglestone and Emma Turner had been told during the pregnancy that their daughter would have Down’s Syndrome and were also given the devastating news that she only had one valve in heart which would lead to serious complications.
She was given special care at the RVI for the first two days of her life before being transferred to a specialist children’s unit in Birmingham by air ambulance.
When medics in the Midlands told Glenn and Emma they were unable to do anything, the baby was then transferred back to the University Hospital of North Tees to be closer to her family before being taken into the Butterwick Children’s Hospice, in Stockton.
Irla lost her fight for life at the family home in Hartlepool, but after returning to his job at J&B Recycling after being granted compassionate leave, dad Glenn was delighted to hear his colleagues had rallied round to arrange an event to raise cash for the Butterwick Hospice.
Glenn, 34, who works as a recycling operative, said: “It was a lovely gesture from my friends at J&B, and me and Emma are very grateful.
“As soon as they said they were raising money, I immediately wanted to give it to the Butterwick Hospice because the help and support they gave us was absolutely brilliant.
“Irla was the youngest baby they have ever had in there, and even when we allowed to bring her home for her last few days they sent care workers around to the house as she had to be fed through a syringe.
“She was a little fighter, she was only expected to live for between two and six hours when she was born but she put up a good fight and was two days short of being a month old when she passed away.”
Glenn and Emma are also parents to Bentley, three, while Emma has Kayla, 19, 15-year-old Callum, Alisha, 13, and Darrian nine, from a previous relationship while Glenn is also dad to Jack, 12, and 11-year-old Kate.
He added: “Emma and I still struggle to come to terms with it, we have good days and bad days, but we are both so grateful for all of the support we have had.”
A total of 679.65 was raised for the hospice by the J&B team, and Managing Director Vikki Jackson-Smith said: ““Glenn is a vital member of our team, and when this tragedy happened with Irla we said we would do all we could to help him and Emma.
“I can’t begin to imagine what they have been through over the last few months, and it was lovely to see such a good amount raised at our Wear It Pink event for a cause which is so close to Glenn and Emma.”