Haydon’s gift to bereaved parents

Helen Kennan (blue top) with one of the Gifts from Haydon
Helen Kennan (blue top) with one of the Gifts from Haydon

When Helen and Jim Keenan’s son Haydon died from complications aged just 15 weeks, a mould of his hand and foot was a precious keepsake that got them through that dark time.

Now they want to help bring the same comfort to other parents faced with that devastating situation.

Haydon was born in 2012, 10 weeks premature and diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.

In the two years since Haydon’s death, his parents have raised £17,000, which has allowed them to set up the Haydon Kennan Foundation.

The fund, working in partnership with Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA), now provides clay imprint kits to accompany SiMBA’s memory boxes, given to parents who lose their baby.

Helen (38), a residential care officer from Gorebridge, explained: “SiMBA were willing to help us with the hand and foot casts idea.

“We have had great feedback already. Parents have told us they wish they had that when they lost their kids.

“We call it ‘a gift from Haydon’.

“Volunteers recently helped us to co-ordinate and package the first gifts alongside the memory boxes provided by SiMBA. A very proud moment.

“We have sent out four to a hospital in England but we have got 1,008 kits ready to go.”

Helen revealed where the casts keepsake idea came from: “When my husband was ill and couldn’t make it into the Sick Kids in Edinburgh to see Haydon, the play specialist there gave Jim a hand and foot cast of Haydon as a present.

“I think she was just doing that as an activity for families. It’s something they do as standard for babies that are poorly.

“So we thought that it should be done everywhere.

“It’s a life-long thing that parents can keep forever.”

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