Woman who gave birth to “miracle baby” after eight miscarriages dies after collapsing at Christmas service

A mother who suffered eight miscarriages before giving birth to a “miracle” baby boy has died after collapsing at a Christmas church service.

Tragic Sarah Bradbury, 30, from Portland, Dorset, suddenly fell ill as she told her Catholic priest how well her premature son Joseph was doing during a private confession.

A doctor who was at the service triedto resuscitate her until paramedics arrived but she died later in hospital from an undiagnosed gastro-intestinal bleed.

Sarah Bradbury, had eight miscarriages before giving birth to Joseph at just 23 weeks. He has now been allowed home for the first time

So happy: Sarah Bradbury, had eight miscarriages before giving birth to Joseph at just 23 weeks. Her husband Scott said she had wanted nothing more than to become a mother

Mrs Bradbury and her husband, Scott, had tried to start a family for ten years but due to a medical conditionaffecting her, every time she became pregnant she miscarried.

The desperate couple conceiving again in March 2010 but Mrs Bradbury went into premature labour four months early.

Joseph was born at 23 weeks and weighed just 1lb 6ozs. But he defied the odds and has gone on to grow into a “thriving” baby boy.

Devastated Mr Bradbury, a 36-year-old customer advisor at a bank, said: “All Sarah wanted to do was to become a mother.

“She was very generous and caring and cared more about others than herself.

“The one thing that is keeping me going is Joseph. He makes you feel so positive.

“He doesn”t understand the background but he can sense something is wrong because his mum isn”t around.”

Premature: Joseph weighed just 1lb 6oz at birth

Premature: Joseph weighed just 1lb 6oz at birth

Her parents, Marion and Stephen Woolrich, said in a joint statement: “Sarah was a wonderful and caring daughter and our best friend.

“She was finally loving life so very much as a mummy – we will miss her more than words can express.”

The couple had attended the Christmas penitential service at St Augustine”s Church in Weymouth, Dorset, when Mrs Bradbury collapsed.

The service, which took place on Tuesday, is held so parishioners can have their confessions heard during Advent.

Mrs Bradbury, a nursing assistant, was in a room away from the main part of the church during her confession to Father Stephen Geddes when she fell to the floor.

Mr Bradbury said: “Just as she went into confession she gave me a cheeky smile.

Scene of tragedy: Mrs Bradbury died while attending a service at St Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Weymouth

Scene of tragedy: Mrs Bradbury died while attending a service at St Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Weymouth

“She had told Father Stephen about Joseph and how well he was doing and then during confession she fell to the floor. It was all very sudden.

“She complained of feeling unwell a few weeks ago but she had been chatting and joking as normal and I didn”t suspect anything.”

A post-mortem revealed that Mrs Bradbury had suffered a gastro-intestinal bleed.

Mr and Mrs Bradbury encountered problems trying to start a family due to her medical condition which caused her cervix to weaken.

She endured seven miscarriages before she gave birth in 2009 to son Ben, who tragically died within a few minutes of being born.

When Joseph was born in August 2010 doctors gave him just a ten per cent chance of survival.

He had eight blood transfusions and at six-weeks-old underwent live-saving surgery to fix a valve in his heart. He also had to be given treatment to keep his lungs inflated.

But Joseph battled back to health and was allowed home in April this year.

At the time Mrs Bradbury described her delight at becoming a mother.

She told MailOnline: “He is a complete miracle. It still feels like a dream and I keep thinking I will wake up and somebody will tell me that it isn”t true.”

Mr Bradbury said: “Sarah was inspired by a doctor who told her after several miscarriages that he couldn”t guarantee that she would fall pregnant, but he couldn”t guarantee she wouldn”t either.

“He said if she was happy trying that was fine, and she became a stronger person for it.”