There are many dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters who together make the work of Red Nose possible. This is Vaughan’s Story
In early 2020 I saw an Instagram post from Sands (now part of Red Nose.) We were deep into lockdown and it made me think how hard it would be to go through a miscarriage, stillbirth or to have your baby die of SIDS without the usual support networks. When we lost our beautiful Nathan, it was hard and devastating but we at least had family and friends to support us.
On a Saturday morning in 2006, pregnant with our first born, my wife noticed that there was no longer any movement in her tummy. We went to the hospital. First a nurse did a scan and couldn’t find a heart beat so a doctor was called. The doctor repeated this process, but they too couldn’t find his heartbeat.
Our baby had died.
After being induced my wife gave birth to Nathan on a Sunday evening. He was 55cm long. The grief for Nathan was like falling off a cliff. We were crushed. We went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low. Now 16 years on I wanted to help others, especially fathers.
My most recent activity for Red Nose was to participate in their new support series Fathers of Loss. This gave me an opportunity to share Nathan’s story but also highlight the need for bereaved dads to seek support, and to encourage those around them to help them.
For the past 18 months I have been the facilitator of an online Dad’s support group. Dads across the country meet via Zoom and we support each other through the death of a baby or child. I am proud to be able to give blokes a safe place to grieve, weep and share their story without judgement.
I am incredibly passionate about reducing the stigma on dad’s grief. It is important to me that we highlight that every child has a mother and a father, and they both need support. Often the parents will will grieve differently, and require different style of support. But they will both need support.
If you are a friend or family member of someone who is a bereaved parent, don’t wait to be asked to help. Please get involved and support them. Google what things you can do to help, and do it or consider watching the fathers of loss series. Especially the segments about how friends and family did and didn’t help.