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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Warren Manger

Woman who lost three babies in three years now helping Ukrainian refugees

Judy Ledger rests her hand on a headstone inscribed with three names.

It has taken the Pride of Britain winner 40 years to summon the strength to buy the memorial – the names are of her lost babies.

Her world collapsed when she lost three premature babies in just three years.

Her daughter Lisa died during childbirth, Emma survived for just a few hours and son Stuart lived for less than a day.

Judy was so traumatised she could not face Stuart’s funeral, leaving then husband Graham to go alone.

It was 11 years before she could bring herself to visit the grave.

Judy Ledger with Ben Kingsley at the Pride of Britain awards 2010 (Daily Mirror)

Judy said: “It was such a horrible thing to go through, it changed our lives forever.

“I found it really hard to get the grave sorted.

“But after 40 years... it had to happen.”

Emma and Stuart are buried at Coventry’s London Road Cemetery but Lisa’s remains were cremated after she was born at just 23 weeks.

Former nurse Judy was not allowed to see her.

Fearing she would never be a mum, Judy founded Baby Lifeline to save the lives of other babies.

The charity began by collecting £7,000 for an incubator at her local hospital.

It has now raised more than £25million, bought equipment for 250 hospitals, provides training for 3,500 NHS staff a year, funds research and works to improve maternity safety.

The work earned Judy a Pride of Britain Award, which she received from Ben Kingsley in 2010. Judy, 65, said: “Everything we have achieved was inspired by my babies.”

Judy, of Balsall Common, near Coventry, gave birth again after an unplanned pregnancy a year after starting the charity.

She said: “I sat and cried for a whole day when I found out I was pregnant.” Richard was born in good health.

Judy, now a mum of three and a grandma, spent four years developing new bags for community midwives after learning that some carried their kit in bin-liners, and has since provided 1,200 in the UK.

The charity has sent another 53 bags to Ukraine along with £130,000 of aid such as surgical equipment, anaesthetic units and foetal monitors.

She’s now appealing for help to send more, backed by Call the Midwife star Linda Bassett, a charity patron alongside Dame Judi Dench and ex- Royal College of Midwives head Dame Lorna Muirhead.

Linda said: “Imagine giving birth to your baby in a damp dark basement or worse, while your home is being destroyed.”

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