A grieving dad whose baby daughter was still-born has organised a world record bid for the world’s longest non-stop rugby union game.
Sean Ellis, who plays rugby league with Chester Gladiators, and fiancee Georgina lost their daughter Mia in February, and now want to say thank you to the staff at Arrowe Park hospital who supported them.
Sean, from Wirral, has organised the 31-hour non-stop rugby union game at New Brighton Rugby Club starting at 10am on Saturday, July 16, and finishing at 5pm on Sunday, July 17.
Funds for SANDS
Money raised will go to Wirral SANDS – a charity supporting families after the death of a baby – to create a bereavement suite at Arrowe Park.
Sean, 34, who is dad to Preston, seven, and Mason, three, said: “We have a good group of players past and present who have volunteered to give up their time to take part in the event.
“The staff at Arrowe Park hospital were amazing and the support that they gave us and are still continuing to give us has been invaluable.
“We would love to give something back to them to show our gratitude and thanks for all that they have done to help us through this difficult time. Hopefully, a bereavement suite will help families who are unfortunately going through the same difficult experiences that we have had to endure after losing a baby.”
After Mia was stillborn, Sean and Georgina, 30, had to go through the heartbreak of hearing other babies crying in the hospital.
The planned bereavement suite would be sound-proofed to prevent other grieving families from going through the same ordeal.
Sean, who works in education, said: “We found it very hard because we could hear all the other babies, but the hospital were fantastic.
“When we got home we were grieving and I needed to do something to keep busy.
“It’s helped us both, because Georgina’s organised the raffle so she’s been able to focus on that – originally I wanted to do everything!”
The family event will also have bouncy castles, stalls, face painting, a hog roast and live music to keep spectators young and old entertained.
As well as organising the whole weekend, Sean will also join the rugby game, and is in training with the rest of the team.
He said: “We’ve been training and we did six hours last Saturday, from 12 at night until 6 in the morning.
“It’s tough – and the mosquitoes and horseflies got me!
“New Brighton rugby club is like a second home to me – they are like my family, so what better way to raise money than to play the game I love.”
Sean is appealing for businesses to help the event with sponsorship or donations. If you can help, email email@example.com or call 07581475606.