‘Our daughter deserves the best’ Ipswich family launch appeal to buy headstone for baby

Rose and Liam made Ava a temporary gravestone themselves on her first birthday Picture: ROSE GODDARD

Rose and Liam made Ava a temporary gravestone themselves on her first birthday Picture: ROSE GODDARD-HAYWARD - Credit: Archant

A couple are hoping to raise enough money to finally provide a headstone for their baby daughter – two years after her death.

The Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich will be raising funds for Ava's headstone Picture: M

The Treehouse Nursery in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich will be raising funds for Ava's headstone Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

Ava Hayward-Goddard was born at 26 weeks and sadly died just nine hours after her birth.

Her mum Rose Goddard-Hayward, from Nacton, was just 23 at the time and had been unable to work after suffering mental health issues.

Mrs Goddard-Hayward’s husband Liam Hayward left work to care for his wife and, as a result, the couple could not afford to pay for the funeral or headstone for Ava.

The Department for Work and Pensions were able to pay for the funeral but a headstone was too expensive for the couple who had to support their other daughter, Lola-Mai Goddard-Hayward, whilst on benefits.

Ipswich Hospital were able to give the couple some bereavement support Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Hospital were able to give the couple some bereavement support Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant


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Mrs Goddard-Hayward, who was struggling with depression after the death of her father, said this was awful.

She said: “It was horrible, she was our daughter and it should have been our responsibility to pay for her funeral.

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“The fact that we couldn’t is awful.

“That’s why we want to work to get the headstone now, because our daughter deserves the best and she’s going to get it.”

Mrs Goddard-Hayward had a complicated pregnancy with her waters breaking after just 19 weeks.

She was later transferred to Homerton University Hospital in Hackney, London where Ava was born at 26 weeks, roughly 3 months premature and she weighed under 2lbs.

Mrs Goddard-Hayward and Mr Hayward were left devastated when she died just hours later.

She said: “It was terrible, we had support from the Ipswich Hospital for bereavement but we couldn’t afford anything.

“On Ava’s first birthday we made her a temporary gravestone, before that she just had a little cross with her name on it.”

The couple had tried to raise funds before but had got nowhere.

Now Rose is making her way back into the world of work as a carer and her and Liam are looking to the future.

“We’ve been together since we were 15 and we got married at 18, we are a stronger than ever now, we’ve had to go through a lot.”

Thankfully her and her husband have now re-launched a Just Giving page to raise funds for the headstone and have got support from the Treehouse Nursery in Ipswich.

They will hold a Christmas fair charity event on Saturday, December 1, starting at 10am, to raise money for Ava’s headstone.

Rose said: “I just want to thank the nursery, they don’t have to do what they are doing.

“There are lots of other people who wouldn’t.”

To donate go to the families page here.

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