Annual service of remembrance

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After suffering six miscarriages and losing a son at 20 weeks, Matlock mum Julie Turnock feels like “a lottery winner” to now have a healthy and happy family.

Julie’s hard-road to happiness began in 2004 when she married now husband Phil. The newlyweds immediately tried for a child to make their new family complete, but after three miscarriages in a row – the couple began to fear the worst.

“After numerous checks under the NHS and a visit to a private clinic in London,” said Julie.

“They discovered that I had natural killer cells – where your body sees a foetus as a foreign body which needs to be destroyed.”

After the diagnosis, Julie was prescribed the relevant treatment and the couple tried for another child.

“Our fifth pregnancy was going really well and we even made up to the twenty week abnormality scan,” said Julie.

But the couple’s luck was not to be transformed just yet. “In May 2008, we lost our son to a condition that was completely unrelated to the previous miscarriages,” said Julie. “After going through all this we were absolutely devastated to lose a child in such rare circumstances.”

In 2009, though, the couple had a delightful twist of fate when Julie gave birth to first daughter Amy.

“The feeling of happiness we felt after giving birth was completely indescribable – I bet I was happier than most lottery winners,” said Julie.

Despite being extremely happy with one daughter, in Spring 2011 Phil persuaded Julie to try again for another child and 12 months later, the couple gave birth to their second daughter Jessica.

“Anyone who has experience a miscarriage will know what a lonely, isolated a traumatic feeling it is,” said Julie.

“But there are people there to offer support, people who know what you are going through and understand how it feels to lose a child.”

That’s why Julie is encouraging people – who have experienced the loss of a child – to come to the Annual Service of Remembrance at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Sunday, April 7 at 3pm.

“It is a perfect opportunity for parents to remember children they have lost and to share their feelings with people that have also experienced similar losses,” said Julie.