A dad whose baby daughter died before she could be born has challenged himself to walk, run and scramble the length of Wales to thank us for the counselling and bereavement support he and his wife received.

In May 2020 Dan and Kate were preparing to welcome their new baby Maddie into their family. At 28 weeks into her pregnancy Kate visited her midwife for a routine check. It would become the hardest day of their lives.

"There’s no heartbeat", the midwife told Kate.

“Those words still resonate in my chest now,” says Kate. “We were an agonising one-hour drive to our local hospital, where our worst fears were confirmed. Our precious baby Maddie was dead before she had even been born.”

Kate was on her own in the hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time. After receiving the devastating news she found Dan, who was waiting anxiously in the car park, to tell him.

“I broke down in tears in the car park,” said Dan. “We were allowed into the maternity unit together after that, but everything was numb.”


Kate gave birth to Maddie some hours later, knowing they would not be taking their baby girl home.

“The pain was horrendous, but it wasn’t the physical pain, it was the fact there was no cry,” said Kate.

“There was no life in our beautiful princess.

“We could hear a baby’s cry on the ward, but it wasn’t our baby.”

Kate and Dan were devastated. Thankfully they were put in touch with our counselling and bereavement services at Tŷ Gobaith. They started having weekly sessions and found working with our team such a comfort. 

“The support we received from the counsellors was incredible,” said Dan.

“Due to the pandemic the sessions have been carried out virtually over video calls, but we have both hugely benefitted from the ability to speak to professionals who have helped us to keep going through something we can never have imagined would happen to us.”

The Challenge

To say thank you for the support they have received Dan, who works as an outdoor instructor, has set himself a mission travelling the length of Wales by foot, called the Leg It Challenge.

This August he and a team of friends and family members will attempt to get from Conwy to Cardiff, some 200 miles, in just six days.

“It’s going to be mentally and physically draining, there’s no doubt about that,” said Dan. “But it will also be a lot of fun and we will be driven on knowing it will help support such an important cause.

“We have already raised more than £6,500 which is incredible, but we would like to raise as much as we can."

Pictures: Doris O'Keefe