Dad bikes London to Harrogate to remember baby daughter Jasmin

Jasmin who died aged 18 weeks (s)
Jasmin who died aged 18 weeks (s)

A father whose baby tragically died at 18 weeks following a medical condition has completed a charity London to Harrogate bike ride.

David and Parminder Rogers’ daughter Jasmin died in March 2014 following complications from severe foetal growth restriction.

John Rogers, David Rogers, Angus Montgomery, Paul Thompson, Mark Shaw (s)

John Rogers, David Rogers, Angus Montgomery, Paul Thompson, Mark Shaw (s)

Jasmin, who was born suddenly at home in November 2013 weighing 3lb 14oz, was an undiagnosed breech and, as a result, suffered oxygen deprivation.

In honour of his daughter’s memory, David and four of his friends cycled 450 miles from London to Harrogate, finishing in front of the Hotel Du Vin on Friday, July 3.

David, who grew up in Harrogate, began ‘Jasmin’s Journey’ in London via the Yorkshire Dales where his daughter’s ashes are scattered.

He said: “We wanted to do something that honoured my daughter, remembering her and promoting awareness of the condition.

“I’m from Harrogate originally and we decided to go from London and then visit all the hospitals she was in. We then went to Wolverhampton where my wife is from before finishing in Harrogate.

“It was a very personal journey for me but it was really good. We had a really good send off and it’s brought back some bittersweet memories for sure.”

So far, the group have raised almost £6,500 for two small charities - The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Whittington Babies.

David was also promoting the Jasmin Project at the Whittington hospital in Archway, where his wife Parminder received antenatal care and where Jasmin was due to be born.

The project supports a new system at the hospital to help its 250 midwives spot babies who have stopped growing in the womb, using growth charts.

Despite the emotional nature of the journey, David remained positive about the beneficial impacts of the trip and described it as ‘cathartic’.

He said: “Losing a child is a horrendous experience but this trip has definitely proved to be more positive than sad.

“Grief is something that you have to deal with but you deal with it in your own way, there is no right way to grieve. We are just trying to take positives out of a catastrophe.

“When she came out I thought she was dead. She was only with us for 18 weeks but they were the best and worst 18 weeks of my life.

“She just looked like a normal baby but she had all these issues from her birth. The whole thing is to highlight how easy it is for hospitals to miss and it could affect anyone.”

David’s twin brother John and Mark Shaw, both of whom attended St Aidan’s in Harrogate along with David, also took part in the trip along with Paul Thompson and Angus Montgomery.

Friends and family of the riders gathered outside the hotel on Friday to greet the riders as they made the emotional last leg of their journey.

David thanked the hundreds of donors for their generosity to his cause and said it was ‘wonderful’ to see his family waiting for him at the finish line.

He said: “We’ve had lots of responses and we’ve had lots of people say they have been touched by the story. To see the hundreds of donors online is great.

“The whole trip went really well and we had great weather for it, almost too hot at times. It felt slightly odd when we finished, to know that we had actually completed it.

“It was quite a poignant route for all sorts of reasons but in the end it turned into a great journey.

“There were about 20 people at the end cheering us on so it was quite emotional as we rode in to meet them all.”

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/jasminsjourney2015.