Friends unite to support family after tragedy

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Caring friends have launched an emergency money-raising campaign for a Market Harborough family ripped apart by a medical tragedy.

On Thursday, October 6 last year, Katherine Boulton was a happy wife to Jamie, mother to Ollie (five) and expecting the couple’s second child.

But on Friday, October 7, Katherine (42), from Market Harborough, suffered a major bleed on the brain and needed resuscitating. It resulted in 11 hours of brain surgery, and she remained in an induced coma for three weeks. She was 20 weeks pregnant at the time. Then eight weeks into a slow recovery a tracheotomy pipe helping her breathe became dislodged and she had a cardiac arrest. Friend Steph Berry told the Mail: “She basically died for six minutes.”

That was on December 8, and Katherine has been sedated in intensive care at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford ever since.

Steph said: “Then she caught an infection which affected her blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The decision was made to deliver her baby on Christmas Day, at 31 weeks pregnant.”

Baby Phoebe, weighing 4lbs 6ozs, went straight into intensive care too, “receiving help with her own breathing and treatment for the same infection that her mum had” said Steph.

Husband Jamie, who works for a print firm in Leicester, is travelling down to Oxford four times a week, to see his wife and baby, keeping up with his work when he can, and looking after Ollie.

Steph said: “At the moment, Katherine’s not even aware of the birth of her beautiful baby girl. And even if Katherine woke up today, she’d be in hospital for six months. Jamie is effectively a single dad for the foreseeable future. The good news is that baby Phoebe is doing really well now. She’s a Christmas miracle.”

Steph and another friend of the couple, Russell Stimpson, have set up the ‘gofundme’ page to help Market Harborough’s Boulton family in their time of need. It’s costing Jamie £500 a month in fuel to visit his wife and new daughter in Oxford four times a week.

And when Phoebe is discharged from the hospital, Jamie will be continuing his visits to see Katherine, whilst looking after their little boy and newborn baby too.

“”It’s a real tragedy for a lovely family” said Steph. “And we friends just wanted to do something to help them. Katherine has looked after other people all her life – she trained as a nurse, and then worked at a therapeutic children’s home and then with youth groups.”

So far, the campaign’s gofundme page has raised nearly £8,000 of a £10,000 goal.

“We’re asking people to give what they can to help support this lovely family” said Steph.

“Katherine’s husband Jamie didn’t ask for any publicity – in fact he’s anxious about it” Steph added. “But he’s shocked by the number of people who have donated money, and very grateful to them.”

You can help the Boultons too at www.gofundme.com/katherines-story