Tragic parents’ reason to smile

Mike Towne and Emma McElhinney with their new baby girl Charlie.
Mike Towne and Emma McElhinney with their new baby girl Charlie.
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A COUPLE who endured a year of heartache after their son died of meningitis have been given reason to smile again following the birth of their daughter.

Mike Towne and Emma McElhinney were left devastated by the death of their first born baby Callum at the start of 2012.

But they have found happiness again after the arrival of their beautiful baby girl Charlie Arabella.

Mum Emma, of Blakiston Street, Fleetwood, said: “Until she was born I used to smile through the day but it was a front. Now when I smile, I mean it.”

After Callum lost his battle to meningitis last January, at just six weeks old, Mike and Emma threw themselves into campaigning for Meningitis UK.

They launched Callum’s Crusade to raise awareness into the Streptococcus B bacteria which caused Callum’s meningitis and also to fundraise more than £18,000 for Meningitis UK.

Emma added: “It was the toughest year ever and we had so many firsts to go through especially his first birthday and Christmas.

“Even though he wasn’t there, we still had a little tea party for his birthday with banners and balloons and celebrated him.”

Charlie Arabella was born on December 27, weighing 7lb 1oz

Emma added: “Charlie was Callum’s middle name and her middle name, Arabella, means ‘answered prayer’. When we were looking for names we had to choose Arabella when we saw what it stood for.”

Proud dad Mike said: “Since Charlie was born, we have a reason to keep going. Grieving Callum was like having your heart ripped out every single day.

“I smiled through things but I never really felt happy.

“As much as I miss Callum and think about him every day, I’m now happy again.”