Handsome Reuben Jerome is bringing joy into the life of a couple who were left devastated after the death of their baby daughter.
Little Reuben is the younger brother of Laila Milly, who died from a rare genetic disorder called Aicardi syndrome in March 2011, the day before her first birthday.
Reuben’s parents, Maya and Steve McCormack, were overjoyed at his safe arrival after a planned caesarean section on Wednesday, August 28. He weighed 9lbs 3oz.
The couple, of Hayfield Way, Ackworth, plan to tell their newborn son all about his brave older sister and have had a blanket and soft toy created out of Laila’s clothes.
Maya, 31, said: “We were over the moon when we found out we were pregnant but it was a very nervous time because of everything that happened with Laila. I was monitored throughout and it wasn’t until we were half way through that I started to relax. Aicardi syndrome only affects girls so it was a massive relief when we found out we were expecting a boy.
“We decided quite early on that I would have a caesarean because we didn’t want any complications. The feeling when he was finally here was relief - and, of course, I was just so happy.”
After Laila’s diagnosis, the McCormacks decided to build a nursery in Hemsworth for children with serious and complex illnesses.
With help from the Pontefract and Castleford Express and the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express, the Laila’s Wish campaign was launched.
The campaign raised almost £100,000 after residents rose to the challenge, taking part in marathons, skydives and boxathons as well as brewing beers, hiking up mountains and collecting cash at supermarkets.
Builders, plumbers and plasterers offered their services to complete the project and the Dulux Let’s Colour Project donated paint to brighten up the interior walls.
The nursery, on Kirkby Road, has a sensory room with fibre optic strands, a bubble shaped wall and a projector with a mini cinema. There is also a playroom and a parents’ room.
Maya said: “We are hoping to open the nursery at the beginning of next year. It is all finished, it just needs the furniture to go in but we are having some time off - some nice family time together before the madness begins.
“The plan is for me to work at the nursery, that way I can take Reuben with me. It has been really exciting watching everything come together and we are looking forward to opening next year.”
For more information on the charity or to donate visit www.lailamillyfoundation.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org