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Touching gift for Coseley couple who have lost four babies in seven years

A couple who have lost four babies, including twins, have been given a special memorial free of charge by the Coseley Halliwell funeral home which carried out the burial of two of them.

The tribute will bear an inscription to Anson-Jay Turner-Hunt and his twin, with a carving of the Iggle Piggle character from the preschool children’s TV series, In the Night Garden.

Kelly Turner said she and her partner David Hunt were overwhelmed by the kind gesture from Halliwell.

“When we got the phone call to say they would pay for the memorial, it was so emotional. I could cry now just thinking about it,” said Kelly. “We’re so grateful and happy. It’s an amazing gesture.”

Pictured holding pictures of the new memorial and the Iggle Piggle design which will be inscribed on it are Kelly Turner (right) with her daughter Ruby Mai. Looking on is Halliwell Coseley funeral director Yvonne Harper.

Kelly, 31, was 27 weeks into her pregnancy when Anson-Jay was stillborn at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital. She lost the other twin at 14 weeks and was told it would be absorbed by her body. However, the day after giving birth to Anson-Jay last December she had to be rushed back into hospital to give birth again.

In 2013 and 2014, she lost another two babies – Kai at 28 weeks and Tyler at 18 weeks.

Kelly said it had been a heart-breaking few years for the family, especially as her father Alan also died of cancer in 2017. However, they were determined to keep strong for Kelly’s eight-year-old daughter Ruby Mai.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster and we’ve been through tough times, but our little girl keeps us going every day. It is hard and we have our good and bad days. David is a man and keeps everything in, but sometimes he just cries, and I will cry. That upsets me, but we are still strong. You have to be, or you break down.”

Doctors warned the couple, from Spencer Avenue, they could lose Anson at 10 weeks because of a heart complication but he kept on fighting for weeks afterwards.

“It was a big shock when it happened again, but I’ve got good family and friends, including my mother Margaret. When my dad died, the funeral staff at Coseley were so supportive too.” 

Kelly added. “Anson’s hands and feet were perfectly formed when he was born. It was so sad. Ruby held him in her arms. We go to the grave every fortnight at Gornal Wood Cemetery in Dudley and place flowers on it and other mementoes.”

Despite the trauma they have been through, Kelly and David, 34, still want to try again for a baby. If they cannot have children naturally, they plan to undergo IVF treatment.

And they have another happy event on the horizon. David proposed to Kelly, a barmaid at Gornal and Sedgley Labour Club, just after they lost the twins. He recently started working at a builder’s yard and they have set a date to get married in February.

Funeral director Yvonne Harper said the lockdown had delayed work on the polished black granite headstone, but she hoped it could be arranged soon once the restrictions are eased.

“Unfortunately, memorial permit applications have been suspended during the pandemic and a lot of the masonry fixers have been furloughed, so we won’t be able to begin work just yet. However, we’re keen to see the memorial completed as soon as possible.

“Kelly and David have had so much sadness, and we wanted to provide this memorial to show our support and give them a happy memory. They are well known in the village and we would like them to know the community is behind them.”