A 2-month-old baby in England who had been born premature and was living in a car with his parents has died.
The boy, named Donald, passed away recently of unknown causes, the Bournemouth Daily Echo reports.
Claire Matthews, who runs a soup kitchen in Bournemouth and knows the family, described the parents as “grief-stricken.”
“They are in a very dark place at the moment, they have nothing to live for now,” Matthews told the Daily Echo following the child’s death.
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The names of baby Donald’s parents have not been publicized. His mother has been referred to in news stories only as 39-year-old Jane.
The family’s plight was first covered by the Daily Echo in July, shortly after Donald’s birth, when it was reported that Jane had been forced to undergo emergency cesarean section at Poole Hospital two weeks early because of complications with the pregnancy.
The mother, who was reported to have been from Kent, said she didn’t want to return to Kent because of an ex-partner who lived there.
She and her small family were were said to have had trouble getting social services in the area to help place them in a home because Jane was not from there.
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The family had reportedly lost a room they were renting in a house in nearby Verwood, and didn’t have enough money to put together for a deposit for a new place.
They had stayed in a bed and breakfast some nights but had also lived in their car, the Daily Echo reported.
Jane told the paper in July she was making the best of the situation.
“He's my baby,” she said. “I’m not going to let any harm come to him - I'm just trying to keep him safe. We're all together, we're still a family unit.”
“I love him to bits,” she added. “I just want him to be safe.”
Upon hearing of Donald’s death, Bourough of Poole’s housing service manager told the Daily Echo his agency hadn’t been in contact with Jane for some time.
“Borough of Poole was contacted by the mother and though she was not eligible, she was provided with as much support and guidance as possible,” he said. “She last approached us in May and hadn’t returned to Poole for help after her baby was born. Our deepest sympathies are with her at this time.”
The East Dorset Council told the Daily Echo in July they had not been contacted by Jane but encouraged her to get in touch with the bourough’s housing service.
Photo credit: Bournemouth Daily-Echo