Three decades after receiving the most shattering news any parent can get, David Shearman will be very much on a high as he says ‘thank you’ to the people who supported him through his most troubled time.
David is ready to make it a 50th birthday to remember in April when he takes the plunge for a 10,000 feet tandem skydive at Sibson Airfield.
The dad of three’s motivation is the memory of his daughter Jade-Louise and the kind counsellors at The Lullaby Trust who helped him grieve after his baby’s sudden and unexpected death on January 20, 1989.
David said: “Jade-Louise would have been 30 this year in October. I wanted to give something back to the charity for what they did for me, and so they can hopefully help other people.
“They helped me and my family and gave counselling for free.
“I’ve always wanted to do a skydive but never plucked up the courage, or had a valid reason to do it. A friend has done it and said it was fantastic.
“I’m excited - I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jade-Louise was born on October 21, 1988.
“She was a special little girl - a little doll,” recalled David.
“I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning she had died. It was sudden infant death syndrome.
“It brings a lump to my throat - I do not think the pain will ever go.
“It’s hard to talk about it, but it makes me feel better because people want to know what happened.
“She was well looked after. She went to bed one night and did not wake up.
“I tried to do CPR on her as I’m a trained first aider, but there was nothing I could have done.”
The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and safer sleeping for babies, and offers emotional support to bereaved families.
The number of infants dying has decreased significantly, the charity said, but around 232 babies and toddlers still die every year from SIDS in the UK.
Explaining the help he received, David added: “Having someone to talk to is the main thing.
“One minute we had a baby and the next there was nothing there. I was struggling to come to terms with no more night feeds, no more nappies.
“Ninety per cent of the counsellors at The Lullaby Trust have gone through this themselves, or know someone who has. That’s why they become counsellors.
”To talk to someone who knows how you’re feeling, it does help to come to terms with it.”
David is so far just past halfway to his £750 fundraising target. To donate online, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-shearman3, or donate £5 by texting JFJL89 to 70070.