Connor's Charity SkydivePublished Thursday, 28th April 2016
When Connor Clark’s baby girl was born in February 2012, the 16 year old couldn’t have been prouder.
Sadly only 8 days later baby Ruby lost her battle with meningitis, something Doctors explained she had ‘caught from the air within hours of birth’ and died in Leicester Royal Infirmary.
“I was devastated” said Connor. “I didn’t know I would love her so much until she was born and for her to be taken so soon was heart-breaking”.
Only young himself Connor struggled to deal with the emotions surrounding Ruby’s death. “I just needed to block the pain out”, he says now. “I ended up slowly going off the rails. I was in a very dark place. I would go to sleep but when I woke up, the reality of losing my beautiful baby girl was still there”.
Connor describes a difficult few years. Somehow in it all he managed to get and then hold down a part time job at Kettleby Foods and another working for a local window cleaner. Employment certainly helped but in his free time it was substances he turned too.
In April last year someone gave Connor a card from a worker from one of the services up at Me And My Learning, a project in Melton Mowbray that aims to help people move on in their lives and achieve their goals. “I knew I needed to do something”, he told us. “”I just couldn’t go on doing what I was doing. At the end of the day I wanted Ruby to look down and be proud of the man her dad had become. So I phoned the number arranged an appointment and went to see what help I could get.
‘It was good to talk to someone. My worker and I looked at my goals and what I wanted and needed and somehow over the next few months I stopped doing the things that were making me unwell and causing me problems. After about 6 months of seeing my worker I had passed my probation at work, started driving lessons and bought my own little bit of the window cleaning round. We decided I no-longer needed to see her for support. Since then I have managed on my own and have been able to use all the money I would have spent on trying to block my emotions out on building my future. I’m even due to take my driving test any day, something I wouldn’t have thought possible before. So now it is time to doing something special in memory of my little girl”.
After 4 long years without Ruby, Connor is finally ready to do something to honour his daughter. Not one to do things by halves the 21 year old is planning a sky dive to fundraise for Meningitis Now.
“The charity is fantastic”, Connor says. “They do research, try and change laws and also give valuable support to people like me who have lost someone they love to meningitis.” Connor is determined to fund the skydive himself and has saved the money to do this. “I am paying for the dive myself as I want all the money to go to the charity. I just want to do something that may help other parents from not having to go through what I have gone through”.
Malise Graham, Lead Member for Employment said; "Connor’s journey is one that every parent can identify with. It is an inspiring example of someone overcoming personal barriers and tragedy to give back, in to the support community to help others facing a similar journey. We are proud to show our support for Connor’s sky dive to fundraise for Meningitis Now.”
To sponsor Connor go to his Just Giving page, text RBLU73 to 70070 to donate or simply find him up a ladder somewhere around Melton Mowbray. Sign the petition for meningitis vaccinations, go to or visit www.meningitisnow.org for more information.
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