Heartache as young Skegness couple plan funeral for second child

A Skegness mum has spoken of the heartache of having to plan a funeral for a second son.
Dave and Hayley with baby Archie. He survived just eight days.Dave and Hayley with baby Archie. He survived just eight days.
Dave and Hayley with baby Archie. He survived just eight days.

Little Archie James Rick survived eight days when he was born on July 15 at 26 weeks, weighing just 1lb. After a week of fighting bleeds on his brain and bowel, Archie passed away on July 23.

For his mum, Hayley Collins, it was her fifth pregnancy having previously suffered miscarriages. This time she had hoped she would finally have the baby she longed for but sadly it was not meant to be.

Instead, she faces the difficult task of planning another final farewell and the grief is all too similar to five years ago, when her first son, Freddie, also died after being born premature.

Archie will be buried in St Mary's Churchyard next to his big brother, Freddy.Archie will be buried in St Mary's Churchyard next to his big brother, Freddy.
Archie will be buried in St Mary's Churchyard next to his big brother, Freddy.

To support Hayley and her devastated partner, David Rick, with third party funeral costs, her sister Chelsea Collins has launched a JustGiving pageHayley is unable to work due to a heart condition and isn't eligible for Personal Independence Payment, so the couple rely solely on Dave's income as a bartender.

However, the couple also wanted to show their appreciation to medical teams who supported Hayley in hospital. So donations at the funeral will go to the neonatal ward at Leeds General Infirmary, where Archie was born on July 15 by C-section.

The precious short time they shared is something Hayley thought she would never have. "I was told at 18 I could never have a baby but after three open heart surgeries I believed I could finally have the baby I had always wanted," said Hayley.

"In spite of losing Archie the care I received was amazing, which is why I want to raise money for the neonatal ward."

However, Hayley wants to go a step further by raising awareness of the effects of losing a baby after premature birth, stillbirth or miscarriage - and may even one day start a local support group.

"There is national support but I haven't found anything local," said Hayley. "Friends and family do their best to support you but they are grieving, too.

"Dads also get forgotten - it has been really hard for Dave, too, as this was his first baby.

"We've received memory boxes from two charities - SANDS and 4 Louis - which are lovely.

"The support from Frank Wood Funeralcare has also been amazing. There are no funeral service costs for a baby - just the additional costs that make it personalised such as the flowers, bespoke coffin and horse drawn carriage.

"Freddie, had such a lovely funeral which was paid for by great-grandad and we wanted the same for Archie."

The family have chosen a Dumbo theme for the funeral like the nursery they had planned to honour Archie's short life.

Beside the coffin there will be two wreaths from Hayley and David - one saying son and one Archie.

After the funeral service, Archie will then be laid to rest next to his big brother, Freddie, in St Mary's Churchyard.

Hayley says she will never forget Freddie and Archie but still holds on to the hope of having another baby as her sister has offered to be a surrogate.

"Chelsea always said she would help but after my operations I really believed I could go the full term," said Hayley.

"It wasn't to be but I hope my experience will give other mums the confidence that they should not wait before getting medical help if they think something is wrong or they can't feel their baby moving.

"This is so hard - that is why I am telling our story."

The funeral procession will leave Hayley and David's home in Clarke Way on Friday, August 13, for the funeral service at St Matthew's Church at noon. Interment will be at St Mary's Churchyard at 12.45pm.


Frank Wood Funeralcare works very closely with SANDS - the Still Births and Neonatal Death charity. The funeral home has a lot of literature and contact details of support groups, as well as some beautiful memory boxes for the families.

It also works alongside Lisa Fletcher, whose daughter, Lillie Grace Fletcher, was born sleeping in 2016. Lisa started Dresses For Angels to help others like her. She makes beautiful outfits ranging in sizes for babies born sleeping and for children up to one.

Funeral director Sarah Nothdurft said: "For any families that lose a child it is extremely difficult and we offer a very personalised service for all families and loved ones alike.

"No two funerals are ever the same and we do things slightly differently surrounding babies and children.

"To bring a baby or child into our care we use a company car instead of a private ambulance and babies are placed into a Moses Basket. There is always the driver and a second person to sit with baby in the rear seats and the Moses Basket is also secured in position with the seat belts.

"All loved ones are monitored twice daily and at weekends and we do everything we can to support and guide families.

"Some times funeral arrangements can be quite difficult when going over all the options to bring a funeral together. So we always work at the families pace and cover all options available to ensure the services are personalised and the funerals are just as wanted and hoped for".