Zip roaring success for support group

Shophie Charlesworth from Upton. Completed a zip wire run from the top of Xscape in aid of Group B Strep Support. A rare condition which took the life of her 15 hours old son, Jake, on Mother's Day, 2011. Sophie is pictured with her partner & father of Jake, James Reynolds, son Owen.'h6352a139

Shophie Charlesworth from Upton. Completed a zip wire run from the top of Xscape in aid of Group B Strep Support. A rare condition which took the life of her 15 hours old son, Jake, on Mother's Day, 2011. Sophie is pictured with her partner & father of Jake, James Reynolds, son Owen.'h6352a139

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A DAD from Pontefract says he’s “very proud” of his partner who dared to zipwire off the top of Xscape for a charity which supported the couple when their newborn son died.

James Reynolds, 25, watched his partner Sophie Charlesworth bravely sail 220 metres down the zipwire at the Glass Houghton leisure complex to raise £500 for Group B Strep Support.

Mr Reynolds said: “This local group gave us so much support after our son died in hospital that it is important to take part in events like this to raise awareness in the area.”

The couple’s baby, Jake, died from septicaemia after contracting a group B streptococcus bacterial infection 15 hours after being born on Mother’s Day this year.

Group B streptococcus is a usually harmless bacteria that can cause septicaemia, pneumonia or meningitis in newborn babies.

The couple – who also have a four-year-old son, Owen – have committed themselves to helping the support group petition for tests during labour to find out if the bacteria is present in mothers.

Miss Charlesworth, 23, said: “The bacteria can come and go from birth to birth so you never know when you are going to be at risk.

“Tests are not currently provided on the NHS but if they were it would surely save them money if they didn’t have to treat babies who contracted the diseases.

“If a mother could have the test during labour, antibiotics could be all it takes to combat the disease.

“A lot of people don’t know how common it is so by doing events like this we are bringing it to light.”

Mr Reynolds said: “Sophie did brilliantly with the zipwire, she is braver than I am because I’m afraid of heights.

“I think she did very well and I’m very proud of her. I think I’ll have to be the one to step up to it next year though.”

Visit www.gbss.org.uk for more information about Group B Strep Support or to make a donation.