Baby ashes parents unite in battle for truth

GRIEVING parents who came forward to join the baby ashes fight for justice have met for the first time.

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The Evening Times has published a series of stories on the baby ashes scandal
The Evening Times has published a series of stories on the baby ashes scandal

Glasgow mums Stacey Lamb, Lee-Anne Gerry and Louise Chisholm touched the hearts of parents across the west of Scotland when they spoke out about their baby ashes hell.

And their determination to find out what happened to their children's remains has inspired others to join in the battle for the truth.

The distraught mums were in tears when they met Stacey, 29, who was the first to reveal her nightmare ordeal of losing her son Daniel in the Evening Times.

Julie Morrison, 33, and Michelle McGhee, 30, contacted the women after reading their stories and insist they gave them the strength and courage to seek help.

Scotland's baby ashes lawyer Lindsay Bruce praised our paper for helping to bring the Glasgow parents together and highlighting the horror cases.

Thanks to our extensive coverage more parents have joined the fight for legal ­action against crematoriums in the West of Scotland and signed up to the nationwide inquiry into the scandal led by Lord Advocate Dame ­Elish Angiolini.

Julie contacted Stacey, 29. from Tollcross, on Facebook after reading her emotional story in June.

Mum-of-two, Julie, of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, lost her first child Erin at 36 weeks after three days in labour in July 2003.

She said: "It was great to meet Stacey but very emotional.

"I didn't know where to start getting answers to what happened to my baby which is why I went to Stacey after seeing her story."

Julie was told by Daldowie Crematorium staff that there would be no ashes but now she has found out they lied and has no idea where they were scattered.

Michelle, from Cardonald, Glasgow, lost baby James when she was 29 weeks pregnant in June 2001.

She was in tears when she read Lee-Anne's story about how she was taking legal action against private Glasgow crematorium Craigton after her baby's ­ashes were "thrown away."

Lee-Anne Gerry, 27, from Govan, was 10 days overdue with her first child when she was told baby Ellie had died in her womb.

Now the accountancy student is fighting for justice for her 6lb 12oz tot who died after the umbilical cord got wrapped around her neck.

Michelle got in touch with her because Lee-Anne ordeal bears a striking resemblance to her own.

She said: "I contacted Lee-Anne on Facebook ­after reading her story in the Evening Times and she has been a great support to me and steered me in the right direction.

"Meeting the other parents from Glasgow has meant a lot and they can't do enough to help."

Nursery nurse Ellen Cassidy, of Sandyhills, Glasgow, and parents David and Linsay Bonar, of Blackwood, near Lanark, also joined the meeting in Glasgow.

Ellen was aged 42 when she fell pregnant with her first child and she was full term when baby Scott died just as she was due to give birth.

Linsay and David, launched the Forget-Me-Not care and counselling group for bereaved parents in memory of their son Lachlan who died just three days old in January 2006.

She said: "Our son was cremated with my wedding dress in his coffin but we were told there was nothing left for us to take home. We have since found out there were ashes but they were discarded like rubbish by a total stranger. The Glasgow and West of Scotland parents are really tight-knit and strong.

"The one positive thing we can take from this is that friendships have been made which will never be broken."

Stacey was upset when she met all the parents and heard their distressing stories about how they lost their ­babies and were lied to by ­crematorium staff.

She said: "It is actually overwhelming to think that my story has touched so many people and encouraged others to come forward and join the fight to get the truth.

"It was very sad to see so many parents together and hear their stories. It was very upsetting. I'm glad they have come forward because now they can get the help and support they need.

"The Evening Times has really done us all proud by highlighting our stories."

Lawyer Lindsay Bruce, from Thompsons Solicitors, acting for hundreds of baby ashes cases in Scotland, also praised the Evening Times for highlighting the plight of Glasgow parents and bringing them together.

She said: "The support of the Evening Times has been really important for the families affected by this scandal.

"It's allowed them to tell the people of Glasgow what happened to their children as they campaign to get justice.

"The coverage in the Evening Times has also helped bring together mums and dads who thought they were facing this alone. The families have a huge strength and solidarity and that's really great to see."

MICHELLE McGhee never got the chance to hold her baby or take footprints to remember him by when he was stillborn at 29 weeks.

The 30-year-old, from Cardonald, Glasgow, was told by hospital staff that lifting her son James would break his bones.

Even though he had passed away in June 2001, Michelle was terrified of hurting her baby because they still had that special bond.

She wanted to bury her son but was told cremation was the only option.

Michelle, who has since had two other children Kieran, eight, and Emily, five, held a service for James at Craigton Crematorium in the city.

She was told there would be no ashes but she has now found out that they lied to her and scattered the ashes in the grounds without her knowledge.

JULIE Morrison lost her baby girl Erin at 36 weeks in July 2003 after three days in labour.

Weighing only 3lb, the 33-year-old cradled her child in her arms after she gave birth to the stillborn tot.

Julie, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, has never recovered from her baby's death despite counselling and help from support groups.

Now she faces a fresh ordeal trying to find out what happened to her baby daughter's ashes. She was initially told there would be no ashes.

After Erin's death, Julie and partner Bryan got married and now have two children - Demi, nine, and Aidan, eight.

NURSERY nurse Ellen Cassidy was aged 42 when she fell pregnant with her first child and she was full term when baby Scott died just as she was due to give birth.

Ellen, now 55, from Sandyhills in Glasgow's East End, and her partner David Hosie, 51, never got over the sudden loss of their son in November 2001.

She was all set to give birth to a healthy 6lb 14oz boy but it all went wrong in the final stages when she was told he was a breech baby and had died in the womb.

The couple were told by Daldowie staff there would be no ashes but they have since found out that they threw them away.

Ellen said: "I have been robbed of the chance to make a decision about my own son's ashes.

"I would have scattered them in our garden but now all we have is a holly tree to commemorate him in our garden."

Families

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