Ava Grace No Footprint Too Small
Turning a tragic situation into something beautiful takes courage, strength and a certain kindness that is possessed by very special people. Those qualities are precisely what makes Erin Johnson such an inspiring woman.
Local resident Johnson is the mother of four children, Ella (8), Oliver (6) and Jesse (1) and Ava Grace who was born sleeping at just 15 weeks old in March 2015.
Ava had Cystic Hygroma in utero, a severe and extremely rare condition, where abnormal growths appear that sadly result in the baby not being able to form properly.
Shortly after Ava passed away, Erin started ‘Ava Grace No Footprint Too Small’, a group of volunteers who make tiny baby clothes, nappies, blankets, hats and keepsakes. They then send them to hospitals around Australia for bereaved parents. She said that there is a real need for clothes for babies who were born at 12-24 weeks and that the volunteers (many bereaved parents themselves) will often make a double of the outfits so that the parents can have one set as a keepsake.
“I was overwhelmed with the generosity and care we received when Ava was born and the clothes and blankets we were given for her. I wanted to make sure every bereaved parent had something to dress their precious baby in and appropriate to their size. When a baby is born and passes at such a young gestation, you can’t just go shopping for them as you will find nothing that fits a baby that is 16cm in length”.
Her blog www.babyjcystichygroma.com.au was started to bring awareness of Ava’s condition and ‘to break the silence around miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss’.
“I am inspired by people who are generous and help others despite challenges they may face in their own lives” said Johnson.
And we are inspired by her.
For more information, Ava Grace No Footprint Too Small can be found on Facebook.
Article by Lisa Finn-Powell.