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Crawley Dad recognised as an ‘Inspirational Dad’ in national awards

James Frost, a 32-year-old who works for Southern Rail has been shortlisted for the Inspirational Dad category in the Tommy’s Awards. James was nominated by his wife, Lauren, 29, for the award, which recognises a dad who has gone through a difficult pregnancy journey with bravery and courage and stood in solidarity and support with their partner.

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James Frost and son Teddy

In 2018, James and Lauren started IVF after 6 years of trying to conceive and failing and were elated when the embryo took and so the wait began to meet their precious long-awaited baby.

The couple decided to keep the pregnancy a secret until after 20 weeks where they hosted a gender reveal to their friends and family and found out they were having a boy. Four days later, their world collapsed around them, as Lauren started to bleed. An emergency dash to the hospital confirmed that Lauren had started to dilate and was in active labour.

Lauren needed an operation to put a stitch in her cervix with James by her side making her smile through the tears and holding her hand.

Partners weren’t allowed to stay on the ward, but James insisted and slept on the floor by his wife’s hospital bed. He picked her up to carry Lauren to the toilet, fed her, washed her and even shaved her legs to make her feel a little bit better about herself.

James and Lauren Frost and baby Leo

Lauren and James’ son, Leo, was born at 24 weeks and was very ill. James comfort held him in his incubator for hours while the doctors worked. He sat vigil at the bedside, looking after his son and at the same side looked after Lauren.

At eight days old, Lauren and James were told there was nothing more they could do for Leo and the couple had to make the awful decision to turn off his life support and read to him as he passed away. James stayed strong through it all to enable Lauren to grieve. He arranged friends and family to visit to break up the days and booked a holiday to Egypt to get away.

A month after Leo had died, Lauren discovered she had naturally fallen pregnant and was understandably terrified. She has a stitch put in her cervix as a precaution and placed on bed rest until 28 weeks.

She says, “James took care of me all over again, making me food to have in bed, doing the chores and starting a new job without complaint or self-pity. Our beautiful boy Teddy was born in January, just a month before his brother’s birthday. James dotes on Teddy like any father would but everything we’ve been through can sometimes make it difficult.  Leo lives on in our family and is talked about frequently. Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad.”

The Tommy’s Awards celebrate the incredible supporters, families, researchers, brands and healthcare professionals who have come #TogetherForChange.

The Awards for families everywhere who have been touched by pregnancy complications or the loss of a baby, and faced their circumstances with courage, bravery and solidarity. The Inspirational Dad award recognises a dad who has gone through a difficult pregnancy journey with bravery and courage and stood in solidarity and support with their partner.

The Tommy’s Awards celebrates the courage, strength and amazing support given by family members, friends and health professionals as well as acknowledging those who have triumphed against adversity. The Awards categories are Super Sibling, Little Champion, Inspirational Dad, Inspirational Mum, Inspirational Family, Healthcare Hero, Star Researcher, Mum’s Voice, Act of Kindness Partner’s Voice and Star Fundraiser.

The winners are announced at an awards ceremony on 11 July at the Oxo Tower, London presented by celebrity mum and author Giovanna Fletcher and attended by Amanda Holden, Clemmie Hooper and Izzy Judd.

Lifestyle

Help Crawley Council plan the future of your town

Crawley Borough Council has started work on a review of its local plan that will help to guide development in Crawley over 15 years from 2020-2035.

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This draft local plan review follows a review of the existing adopted local plan.

However, there is a greater emphasis on a number of policy areas, including health and wellbeing, higher environmental standards for new houses and housing to meet a wider range of needs.

Crawley Council say that it is important that local people, groups and organisations are able to put across their views and participate in the way that we plan the future of the town.

From now until 16 September they are asking people to let them know what they feel are the most important issues for Crawley that will need to be planned for over the next 15 years.

The staffed consultation events take place at:

  • County Mall on Saturday 27 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 29 July from 10.30am-4pm
  • K2 Crawley on Monday 5 August from 3-8pm
  • Crawley Library on Tuesday 6 August from 5-6pm
  • County Mall on Saturday 17 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Town Hall on Monday 19 August from 10.30am-4pm
  • Crawley Library on Monday 9 September from 5-6.30pm.

Councillor Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“Anyone interested in the future of Crawley should get involved in this consultation. 

“The local plan review is all about finding out what you want to see the town look like. We’ll be asking questions at events and online to get your feedback. Please take your chance to shape the future of your town.”
 

For more information visit crawley.gov.uk/crawley2035 or email forward.plans@crawley.gov.uk

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