Inspirational Crawley father shortlisted for special award

James with Teddy
James with Teddy

An inspirational father who braved the pain of losing his baby by standing in solidarity with his partner has been shortlisted for a special award.

James Frost, aged 32, from Crawley, 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.

In 2018, James and Lauren started IVF after six 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.

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 said:, “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 winners are announced at an awards ceremony tomorrow (July 11) at the Oxo Tower, London presented by celebrity mum and author Giovanna Fletcher and attended by Amanda Holden, Clemmie Hooper and Izzy Judd.