Delighted mum-to-be has gift of life - after bouncing back from double tragedy

Sylvia Burton, left, and Melanie Atkinson with family and friends at their Tiny Lives stall at Bents Park.

Sylvia Burton, left, and Melanie Atkinson with family and friends at their Tiny Lives stall at Bents Park.

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An overjoyed mum-to-be is celebrating the gift of life - after bouncing back from the double tragedy of losing twin daughters just months apart.

Melanie Atkinson says she never lost hope that she would be a mum again when her battling daughter Chloe lost her fierce fight for life at the age of just five months in January 2014.

Little fighter Chloe Atkinson sadly died at the age of just five months

Little fighter Chloe Atkinson sadly died at the age of just five months

Tiny Chloe weighed just 1lb and 6 ounces when she was born three months prematurely in September 2013, with her sister Sophia sadly stillborn.

Chloe was given round-the-clock care by dedicated staff at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital and was allowed home to her loving parents after reaching a weight of over 7lb.

But she sadly succumbed to flu after just two weeks at home and died in hospital on February 12, 2014.

Now Melanie is due to give birth to a baby boy in September - and is keeping the memory of Chloe and Sophia burning bright by keeping a charity cause in the family.

When I found out I was pregnant again the feeling was fantastic.

Melanie Atkinson

The 39-year-old, is so eager to thank the Tiny Lives charity for their steadfast support that she and husband Dale, 41, have already raised over £4,000 through a range of fundraising initiatives - including the Great North Run and the Boxing Day Dip.

Melanie, who is originally from South Shields and now lives in Cramlington, said; “I never gave up hope that I would get pregnant again. Somehow, I just knew I would.

“When I found out I was pregnant again the feeling was fantastic.

“We were so grateful for the support we received from the Tiny Lives charity, including financial help, that we wanted to give back.”

Aunt Sylvia Burton, from Devon Gardens, South Shields, got in on the act by hosting a jewellery and crafts stall for the cause at the Summer Charity Fayre, in Bents Park on Saturday.

Colin Burgin-Plews, who has raised thousands of pounds for the fight against cancer by donning a pink dress, also offered his support as the new ambassador for the charity.

Tiny Lives provides vital care and support for premature and sick newborn babies at the Special Baby Care Unit at Newcastle’s RVI.

They offer services such as family rooms and accommodation, travel costs and final support for low-income families, a dedicated social to provide emotional support and also invest in funding for research grants.

For more information on the charity, visit www.tinylives.org.uk