Surprise for town couple who set up successful charity in memory of their daughter

Bromsgrove Advertiser: SURPRISE: Richard Sharratt and Charlotte Sharratt receive their special surprise hamper from Birmingham City players Callum Reilly and Chris Burke. Ref:s SURPRISE: Richard Sharratt and Charlotte Sharratt receive their special surprise hamper from Birmingham City players Callum Reilly and Chris Burke. Ref:s

A BROMSGROVE couple, who set up a successful charity in memory of their two-week-old baby, enjoyed a special present during the festive season.

Libby Mae Sharratt was born in April at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, but experienced difficulty with her breathing and was placed into intensive care.

After her medication was changed, this gave hope to her Catshill parents, Charlotte and Richard, who saw her condition improving.

But after being transferred to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, scans revealed the vein from her heart to her left lung had not developed.

Doctors told them Libby would never be able to breathe for herself, and she died in the hospital in May.

Wanting to give something back to the hospital Charlotte and Richard set up Libby Mae's Little Angels, which aimed to raise money to support the Neo-Natal Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital - where Libby was originally transferred - and to help provide resources to other Midlands based units.

So far the charity has raised £35,000.

To recognise the charity's success the pair received a surprise Christmas hamper, which was delivered to their home in the village by Birmingham City players Chris Burke and Callum Reilly.

Friend of the couple Martin Roche nominated the pair for the surprise gift from club sponsors the Eze Group.

The prize was particularly special for Richard who has been a Birmingham City season ticket holder for nearly 20 years.

The couple chatted to the footballers, who even bought a Libby Mae Christmas bauble to help boost the charity coffers.

"It was a complete shock to open the door and be greeted by two of the Blues players who I cheer on from my seat in the Tilton Road," said Richard.

"I was genuinely overcome with emotion as it was such a wonderful gesture from my friend and of course EZE Group and the club who made it all happen.

"We’ve obviously had a very traumatic year but we wanted to give something back because without the care Libby received, we wouldn't have had one day with her let alone two weeks.”

Martin said: "After suffering the worst sort of year that none of us would ever want to experience in our lifetime, Richard has thrown himself into helping others so his daughter’s short life wasn’t for nothing.

"He thoroughly deserves a little treat to show him that people care about him and are so proud of what he’s doing.

"Richard has become an inspiration to all his friends."

Dominic O’Reilly, chief executive of EZE Group, added: "When we heard about Libby Mae through the nomination we had no hesitation in arranging with the club for the players to make the surprise Christmas delivery.

"Nothing can compensate for the death of a daughter, but Richard and Charlotte have shown tremendous courage and couldn’t be more deserving."

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