A COUPLE are lighting up a garden centre in memory of their baby who died at birth and to support other parents who have lost a child.

Finley Smith died at Colchester Hospital last year.

An investigation found a junior midwife overseeing Finley’s birth had missed his heart rate drastically rising during birth.

Mum Charlotte Smith was in labour for three hours and there was no indication that anything was wrong.

Charlotte said: “Finley was born at 9.41pm weighing a perfect 7lbs 4oz but with no signs of life.

“The alarm bells were pressed, and a team tried to resuscitate him for half an hour.

“We have had our post mortem examination and investigation results, which confirmed that Finley died of acute asphyxiation.

“He was starved of oxygen – the hospital has admitted lack of care. Our newly qualified midwife failed to identify his signs of distress.

“We trust these professionals to deliver our babies’ safely and they fail with the most basic of procedures and guidelines.

“We are completely heartbroken. Our baby boy should be here and living his life with his family.”

After an investigation into Finley’s death was published Colchester Hospital said it had “apologised unreservedly to the family” for the failings.

Charlotte and husband Robert, of Tiptree, are fighting to keep Finley’s memory alive, and offering support to others who have also lost their babies. They will be lighting up the village of Bicknacre from the Bicknacre’s White Elm Garden Centre, which they run, and have made home to many memories of Finley, in pink and blue in Finley’s memory.

Charlotte said: “It’s about trying to get the local community to talk about it and make people realise that it’s not a taboo and it should be talked about.

“We hope it can help people who are driving past the centre and have suffered the same thing.

“It will let them know that people support them and can make people aware of Baby Loss Awareness Week as well as raising people’s awareness about what happened to Finley.

“We feel like our life now continues with a massive missing piece.

“Our beautiful perfect boy Finley will forever be missed and forever loved.”

The lights will be on over the duration of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs until Tuesday.

Throughout the week bereaved parents, families and friends unite with each other to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth and in infancy.

It also aims to raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss in the UK and drive improvements in the bereavement care and support available for those affected.

The inaugural Baby Loss Awareness Day took place in 2002 and was later expanded to cover a whole week.

After losing Finley his parents set up Forever Finley, an unregistered charity with the aim of providing the service to other bereaved parents across Essex.

To find out more visit facebook.com/foreverfinley/.