Published: 11:00, 05 October 2019
A heartbroken mother who lost one of her twins at just four days old has called for better support for families who lose a baby.
Dawn and Kevin Powell, from Margate, experienced the indescribable heartache of bringing home just one twin baby in February after losing the other - a little boy called Archie - to sepsis, caused by group B streptococcus.
Mrs Powell says it was a complete shock and one which the family is still trying to learn to live with.
Speaking out ahead of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs from October 9 to 15, the 41-year-old admits there has been little support and the help she has had, she had to find herself.
She also believes there is still a stigma surrounding the loss of a baby.
"I think about taking my daughter Evalene (Archie's twin sister) to a baby group but you don't want to talk about losing your baby because some people don't want to hear it," she said.
"So you don't tend to go out. There is a stigma to it. After losing a baby, people don't want to be around you.
"I don't know if it's because of feeling uncomfortable and they don't know what to say so they stay away, but that makes you feel like you've got some contagious disease.
"Friends stay away - it's a very strange situation to be in."
She says they have received help from charity Making Miracles, which provided support to the whole family, including their three daughters Kienna, 11, Aralyn, 10, and Lyara, eight, but this was based in Medway.
Mrs Powell also had support from a women's health counsellor, but this was over the phone.
"It's hard on the phone to build up a good relationship," she said.
"Doctors we've had meetings with since we lost Archie are all shocked at the lack of support you get.
"Other people who have looked into counselling for us say they've found there's nothing around here when they've gone searching."
Mrs Powell says Archie - who would have been their first boy - was a good size when he was born on February 10, weighing 6lbs 1.5oz, but that he contracted group B strep bacteria.
He was transferred to the Evelina Hospital in London with his parents and newborn sister, but tragically died on February 14.
"They did everything they could to save him but he ended up with no brain activity so we had to make the decision to switch off his life support," she said.
"It was a shock to find out we were having twins in the first place, then you go through all the joy and you have all these plans in your mind, but then it all gets taken away."