Helen and Beth Emery are continuing their fundraising for Group B Strep Support after their son Isaac died 39 minutes after his birth on December 4 last year.
The Emery Ensemble, founded by Helen in 2012, are holding two concerts in aid of the charity. The concerts will be fun and light-hearted with music from shows and summertime classics. Joining them as guests will be Molly Cartmell (piano) and Fiona Cartmell (clarinet).
The first concert will be held in St John's Church, Broadbridge Heath on Tuesday, July 23 followed by one closer to home on Thursday, July 25 at Emmanuel URC, St Michael's Road, Worthing.
Both concerts start at 7.30pm with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets are £8 for adults and £2 for children and all monies raised will be going to GBSS. To buy tickets in advance, call 01903 238792.
Helen and Beth have raised more than £9,000 since they lost Isaac
Beth said: “We are so happy to have been able to raise so much since January for GBSS. It is vital for them to continue the work they do. We won't stop raising funds and awareness about group B Strep until things change.
“Currently it is not even mentioned to you when you are pregnant. It is not tested for routinely in the UK. One in four women carry it naturally without any side effects. To a newborn it can be fatal as we found out."
Helen added: “"If we had known about GBS we could have purchased a test for £35, then Beth could have received antibiotics during labour which would more than likely have prevented Isaac's death. Education is the key that is missing.”
As Beth explains: “GBS is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in new-born babies in the UK, causing sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Each week in the UK, one baby dies and another is left with a long-term disability as a result of a GBS infection.”
Beth had not heard of group B Strep when she was admitted to Worthing Hospital to give birth after a relatively straight-forward pregnancy. Isaac was born on December 4, but died 39 minutes after birth. Beth and Helen were told two days later that Isaac had died due to an overwhelming group B Strep infection.
“Group B strep was never mentioned in any of our prenatal classes or appointments, having since learnt about how treatable this can be, we think it should be mentioned to every pregnant woman. Even just being handed the facts and figures about this on a leaflet would inform women of their rights to choose to get tested privately as this is currently not offered as a routine test on the NHS.
“Testing is standard practice in many countries but because we weren’t even told about group B Strep, we were left in ignorance and denied the opportunity to decide if we wanted to get tested or not.”
The couple have already staged a number of successful fundraising events including a 5km fun run/walk on the promenade on May 11 under the title Run for Isaac.
Contact the charity at http://www.gbss.org.uk or call the helpline on 01444 416176.