When I think about what happened to Daniel's ashes it makes me feel sick

GRIEVING mum Stacey Lamb was 20 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was told there was no heartbeat and she faced the nightmare ordeal of giving birth to a stillborn baby.

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  • Stacey Lamb has spoken out about the baby ashes scandal
    Stacey Lamb has spoken out about the baby ashes scandal
  • Stacey Lamb has spoken out about the baby ashes scandal

For 24 hours after the harrowing birth, she cradled her tiny son Daniel in her arms telling him stories about the family he would never know and the life he could have had if he had survived.

Stacey, 29, carried her only son in his tiny white coffin at his funeral at Daldowie Crematorium, in Uddingston, as heart-breaking song In the Arms of an Angel played and 50 blue balloons were released in his memory.

After the service she asked for her baby's ashes to keep in a heart-shaped locket around her neck but was told there was nothing left. Staff insisted the bones of stillborn babies were too fine to survive a cremation so she was sent home to grieve with only a memory box containing his footprint, scan photos, a cuddly toy and the blanket she held him in for comfort.

Daniel died on August 24, 2011 at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow after Stacey suffered an infection in her placenta. He was cremated two weeks later.

She was just coming to terms with her loss and had placed a small gravestone in his memory next to late grandad Thomas Murray at Dalbeth Cemetery when the shock report into the baby ashes scandal at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh was published in April.

Stacey, who has a daughter Kayla, 6, was devastated when "over-whelming evidence" came to light that bones from foetuses as young as 17 weeks survive cremation.

Now Stacey faces a "lifetime of uncertainty" and may never know what happened to her baby's ashes but she is determined to fight for the truth.

Today, she is speaking out about her huge loss in a bid to encourage other parents to demand to know where their babies have gone.

Yesterday, the Evening Times told that a special team would be set up to investigate what happened to babies' ashes across the country but parents must notify the National Invest-igation Unit by filling in a form on the Scottish Government website which can be completed online or posted out.

Parents welcomed the move recommended in Lord Bonomy's Infant Cremation Commission report to establish the unit, which will be led by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini.

Stacey, from Tollcross, Glasgow, said: "I'm speaking out in the hope that it will encourage other parents to come forward and fill in that form because we all have the right to know what happened to our babies.

HAVING a team look into each baby and their circumstances is good and at last parents are being treated with some respect.

"I won't give up fighting for the truth because I need to know where my baby's ashes are and so do all those other parents who have lost babies after 17 weeks.

"It's galling to think that staff at the crematorium lied to me.

"They said there was nothing left, but for all I know his ashes could have been scooped up along with the ashes of the person who was cremated before him and given to another family but I may never know.

"Staff at the crematorium have caused so much hurt and heartache.

"I should have had my son's ashes to put in a locket and keep it close to my heart all the time but they've robbed me of that chance and I'll never forgive them for that.

"Now I'm left with nothing but a memory box and the thought that his ashes could be mixed in with a stranger's makes me sick. That family could be sitting with half of my son's ashes, which doesn't bear thinking about.

"I struggled to come to terms with my son's death but when I heard that there were no ashes for me I was distraught.

"I haven't been able to grieve properly not knowing what's happened to Daniel's ashes.

"I treasure the 24 hours I spent with Daniel because he was my son and I had a special bond with him. I still miss him so much."

janice.burns@eveningtimes.co.uk

Families

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