Beds, Herts & Bucks

TV star meets bereaved dad's new baby after Twitter appeal

Jake Humphrey with Ross and Naomi Coniam and baby Ernie Image copyright @mrjakehumphrey
Image caption Ross Coniam (right) celebrated with his wife Naomi and their baby Ernie alongside Jake Humphrey and his wife Harriet

A TV presenter who shared a bereaved father's charity appeal on social media has met the man's "rainbow baby".

Jake Humphrey tweeted about Watford fan Ross Coniam's #Nine4Norah challenge after spotting his fundraising hoodie at the FA Cup semi-final in April.

More than £50,000 has been donated since the BT Sport presenter shared the appeal with his 900,000 followers.

On Sunday, Humphrey met Mr Coniam and his wife Naomi's son Ernie at a fun day to celebrate his year of challenges.

A rainbow baby is a term given for a healthy baby born to parents who have experienced the loss of a child.

It stems from the idea that a rainbow, symbolising hope and comfort, follows the storm of grief caused by a baby dying.

Image copyright @mrjakehumphrey
Image caption BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey spotted Mr Coniam's fundraising sweatshirt in a crowd of 80,000 people

Mr Coniam set himself nine challenges after his daughter Norah died nine hours after being born in May 2018.

The father said he "can't thank Jake enough" for sharing his fundraising page to his 900,000 followers on Twitter.

"It's become bigger than I ever imagined," he said.

Humphrey said the experience was the "greatest" moment he has had online.

"Social media can be a thoroughly negative, demoralising place, but the Nine 4 Norah story restored my faith in people on the platform," he said.

Image copyright Ross Coniam
Image caption Mr Coniam finished the sixth of nine challenges at the grave of his daughter, Norah

Speaking at the fun day in Letchworth, Humphrey said he did not take any credit for the money raised.

"I was just the facilitator who had the opportunity with a large platform to send the message out there for this man's amazing work," he said.

"This is about Ross. Lots of people will lose a child but they won't go and do was Ross has done."

Mr Coniam had to postpone one of nine challenges, the Great North Run on Tyneside, due to an injury, but hopes to complete it next year instead.

Among the challenges he has completed are the London Marathon and a 135-mile walk from Gloucestershire to his daughter's grave.

Mr Coniam has been raising money for the stillbirth and neo-natal death charities Sands and 4Louis, Iolanthe Midwifery, and Keech Hospice in Luton.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jake Humphrey spotted Ross Coniam's campaign while presenting for BT Sport

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