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Couple’s heartbreak and gratitude to lifeline charity after four miscarriages and loss of newborn daughter

PUBLISHED: 20:44 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:44 14 October 2018

Craig Manthorpe and partner Jade Nicholles (centre) present a Cuddle Cot to EACH after raising money by taking part in Tough Mudder obstacle course. Pictured with family and friends who also took part.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Craig Manthorpe and partner Jade Nicholles (centre) present a Cuddle Cot to EACH after raising money by taking part in Tough Mudder obstacle course. Pictured with family and friends who also took part. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

After four miscarriages, Tyler Lily Iris Manthorpe was to be Jade Nicholles’s and Craig Manthorpe’s miracle child.

Craig Manthorpe with fiancee Jade Nicholls and stepdaughters Riley and Taylor Brett, the day they announced Tyler was coming. Picture: Craig ManthorpeCraig Manthorpe with fiancee Jade Nicholls and stepdaughters Riley and Taylor Brett, the day they announced Tyler was coming. Picture: Craig Manthorpe

But within 24 hours of being born, the couple, from Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, had to say goodbye to their newborn daughter after she became gravely ill.

Miss Nicholles, 30, went into natural labour three weeks early on February 5 this year, just as the first drops of snow began falling in Norfolk.

Tyler Lily Iris Manthorpe was taken to the intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital shortly after being born. Picture: Craig ManthorpeTyler Lily Iris Manthorpe was taken to the intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital shortly after being born. Picture: Craig Manthorpe

But the couple were told Tyler was seriously ill and despite the best efforts of doctors she was put on life support.

Surrounded by her family, Tyler died on February 6. She leaves behind her parents and sisters Riley Brett, 11, and Taylor Brett, eight.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) arranged casts to be made of Tyler's feet, hand and ear for the bereaved parents. Picture: Craig ManthorpeEast Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) arranged casts to be made of Tyler's feet, hand and ear for the bereaved parents. Picture: Craig Manthorpe

“We had a baby shower the day before,” said Mr Manthorpe, 29. “We had finished decorating the nursery, we were all excited.

“It stopped snowing after she died.”

The couple were approached by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), which was able to provide valuable support to the heartbroken parents.

The charity arranged for casts to be made of Tyler’s hands, feet and ear, and for her to be placed on a cuddle cot, a cooling mattress which allows bereaved parents more time with their baby.

Craig Manthorpe and his family and friends took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course to raise money for EACH. Picture: Craig ManthorpeCraig Manthorpe and his family and friends took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course to raise money for EACH. Picture: Craig Manthorpe

Mr Manthorpe said they were able to spend four more days with Tyler, adding: “Without the cuddle cot, we would’ve only spent hours with her before she was taken away.”

As a way to give back to the charity, Mr Manthorpe took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course alongside family and friends and raised more than £3,000 for EACH.

Craig Manthorpe and his family and friends took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course to raise money for EACH. Picture: Craig ManthorpeCraig Manthorpe and his family and friends took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course to raise money for EACH. Picture: Craig Manthorpe

Miss Nicholles had planned to join them, but decided to watch from the sidelines after finding out she was pregnant again.

Mr Manthorpe said: “The baby will be born around the same time Tyler was, it is a gift from her.”

Craig Manthorpe and partner Jade Nicholles (centre) present a Cuddle Cot to EACH after raising money by taking part in Tough Mudder obstacle course. Pictured with family and friends who also took part and Tim Jenkins from EACH (right).
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCraig Manthorpe and partner Jade Nicholles (centre) present a Cuddle Cot to EACH after raising money by taking part in Tough Mudder obstacle course. Pictured with family and friends who also took part and Tim Jenkins from EACH (right). Picture: ANTONY KELLY

With the money raised, the charity was able to buy a new cuddle cot for their Quidenham hospice.

“EACH were there at the beginning and are still there now,” Mr Manthorpe added. “We can never raise enough money to thank them for what they have done for us.”

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