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Fundraiser marks five years since family ‘said hello’ to tragic Nevaeh

Gary Stewart is pounding the pavements in preparation for his solo walk across the country
Gary Stewart is pounding the pavements in preparation for his solo walk across the country

The dad of a Mearns baby who died shortly after birth will undertake a taxing journey on Saturday.

Nevaeh Stewart died soon after she was born at Montrose Royal Infirmary’s midwifery unit on July 8 2012, despite the efforts of midwives and specialists who arrived to save her.

Parents Gary and Kimberly Stewart, from Auchenblae, have spent the past five years raising money in her name, pausing last year to take part in an emotionally draining fatal accident inquiry at Forfar Sheriff Court.

The young family have raised more than £16,000 for the stillbirth and neonatal charity Sands, which supports bereaved parents and funds research to prevent neonatal deaths.

And Mr Stewart, 32, will walk the 187 miles from east coast to west on Saturday, to mark the day the couple “got to say hello” to their little girl.

“Right from the beginning, Sands are there for bereaved parents,” said Kimberly, 32.

“When we lost Nevaeh we set up a page in memory that people could donate to.

“Later, I found out we could do a few things to raise money, so we’ve done things like a shark dive and I do a craft auction.

“They are obviously doing some good – when Nevaeh was born, 17 babies a day died of stillbirth or neonatal death.

“In the past five years it’s gone down to 15 – but that’s still too many.

“The money raised goes towards memory boxes, towards befriender training, for parents like us to train to support a newly bereaved parent.”

“Gary’s travelling on foot by himself from Stonehaven to the Isle of Skye to represent an issue that could happen to anyone, anywhere.

“We’re not sure how long it’s going to take him, but he’s determined.”

Carolyn Bray, fundraising and events manager at Sands said: “We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to Gary for taking on such a mammoth walking challenge for us in memory of his baby daughter, Nevaeh.

“When you factor in the distance, long steep stretches and the unpredictable weather it’s no easy task for anyone.

“We hope that by Saturday night Gary’s feet won’t be too sore, the weather has been kind and that he enjoys a well-earned drink or two.

“We are really grateful to Gary and his wife for choosing to support Sands and can’t thank them enough for the enormous contribution they have made to the charity.

“A really incredible way to mark Nevaeh’s fifth birthday and we wish him all the very best.”

Visit Gary Stewart’s individual page here to find out how to donate, or the wider page for Nevaeh here.

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