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'I had to go into labour knowing that he was gone' Parent of stillborn son set for charity bike event to raise awareness of Hughes syndrome.

Byline: Sarah Bunney

A COUPLE whose baby was stillborn have organised a fundraising bike ride in his memory.

Sam Price and Michael Crowley were devastated by the death of their son Kai in November last year.

Four days before her due date, Sam went to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, to give birth to Kai.

"I had been checked by the midwife the day before and she broke the news to us that Kai had passed away," said Sam, 21.

"I had to go into labour knowing that he was gone. It was heartbreaking."

Sam suffers from a rare condition called antiphospholipid syndrome, or Hughes syndrome, which has been linked to problems in pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia and miscarriages.

"We didn't know I had Hughes syndrome until after Kai was born and then found out that for the last five weeks of my pregnancy, his growth was restricted and he was starved of oxygen and nutrients," said Sam.

But the couple, who have been together for eight years, now have another chance to become parents after Sam again fell pregnant.

Now 19 weeks pregnant, she will be induced two weeks before her December due date as an extra precaution.

She will also have specific growth scans every two weeks to monitor her blood flow, and is taking blood-thinning aspirin tablets every day to prevent pre-eclampsia.

Michael, 24, and Sam are looking into her family history for signs of Hughes syndrome because one of her sisters was stillborn and another died at five days old.

And they are seeing a specialist at Neville Haul hospital in Abergavenny who treats women with the condition.

In the meantime, Michael thought of the charity bike ride from Cardiff to Nantgarw and back to raise money for Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society).

He and 24 family and friends, including children, will cycle 14.5 miles from Llandaff North to Nantgarw and back again tomorrow - if the rain holds off.

Michael said: "We want to raise awareness that it's not just older people who go through the trauma of stillbirth - it happens to young couples too.

"There's not enough known about it and Sands have been so supportive of us that we can't thank them enough."

The couple have already raised nearly pounds 500 from collection boxes at shops around Llandaff North and Gabalfa, but want to raise even more for the charity, which works to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families.

To sponsor them, go to


Michael Crowley and partner Samantha Price, who lost their baby boy Kai due to a still birth last November
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 24, 2009
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