Neighbours’ kindness helps parents in grief

Graham and Katy Southgate, with their daughters Lauryn, eight, and Leah, 12, in their memorial garden, dedicated to their daughter Lacey-Mae, who died of a heart defect

Graham and Katy Southgate, with their daughters Lauryn, eight, and Leah, 12, in their memorial garden, dedicated to their daughter Lacey-Mae, who died of a heart defect

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Grieving parents whose baby daughter died of a complex heart condition at just two weeks old have thanked kind neighbours who have helped ease their pain.

Little Lacey-Mae was born on August 15, six weeks premature, after an emergency cesarean section.

Her heart was on the wrong side, a problem discovered when mum Katy Carley had her 20-week scan.

After the birth Lacey-Mae was transferred from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London.

A scan revealed the baby girl also had a liver condition and doctors told Katy and her partner Graham Southgate nothing could be done for their little daughter.

Katy , of Wick Close, Corby, said: “We were all moved into a family room and spent the next 17 hours with Lacey-Mae before she died. We never left her and we held her the whole time.”

Hearing about the couple’s sad loss, neighbours in Wick Close and nearby Waver Close held a collection and presented them with more than £400.

They have used the money to create a memorial for Lacey-Mae in their back garden.

Katy, who works at the Primark store in Corby town centre, said: “We have been so touched by everyone’s kindness. People have rallied round and we are very grateful.

“At such a difficult time it is a comfort to know that people are caring for us. It makes it all more bearable.”

The collection was organised by neighbours Samantha Cook and Rachel Walker.

The couple also received donations from Graham’s colleagues at the glazing firm he works for in Wellingborough and from Finedon Volta, the football team he coaches.

He said: “Everyone is quick to criticise Corby, especially this area, but people here are kind and caring and they always rally round and help when times are tough.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for everything they have done.”

Little Lacey-Mae’s funeral was held last week at St Brendan’s Church in Beanfield Avenue, Corby. Her two sistersLeah, 12, and Lauryn, eight, both read at the service.

Katy said: “They were both so brave and we were very proud of them.

“Lacey-Mae was a loved litle girl.

“She was only here for a very short time but she brought us all together, family, friends and neighbours.

“She was our little angel.”