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Grieving Muslim mothers in Bradford are told: Let us help
A Bradford mum who suffered the heartbreak of seeing two sons die when they were just months old is to start a new bereavement service for Muslim mothers.
Rezvana Hassan, 30, hopes setting up a West Yorkshire branch of Children of Jannah, a national grief-recovery charity, will help struggling families come to terms with their sorrow.
Mrs Hassan, who has three other children and lives in Thornbury, said she hoped the group would be able to fill a gap in the district.
Yesterday she was at Bradford Royal Infirmary children’s wards to hand out toys to poorly children in time for Eid.
Poignantly, all the gifts were paid for by bereaved mums.
She said: “Just to see their little smiling faces when they got the toys was amazing. By giving the gifts we have managed to bring some happiness out of sadness.
“This is what the group will be about – helping people to look forward and focus on the positives, rather than dwell on the past.
“I have lost two children and will never forget them but I have three healthy children and feel blessed for that,” said Mrs Hassan.
The group will run a 24-hour telephone helpline run by trained volunteers, have a Facebook page, organise meetings, offer support to siblings and other family members and produce help packs and sympathy cards.
“We are hoping the launch will be towards the end of this month,” she said.
In 2005 Mrs Hassan had experienced a normal pregnancy when she gave birth to Hashim. But he had oxygen-related problems and died at two and a half months in BRI’s neo-natal unit.
Six years later – on that same day – she had another son, Haider Ali, by planned caesarean section. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition affecting his lungs and died last year aged five months at Martin House, Boston Spa.
Mrs Hassan said: “At the time of my bereavement I was offered support by the health professionals on a number of occasions. But I felt they did not cater for my faith beliefs, therefore I declined. Sadly I did not know of any charity out there that could help me.
“After eight months of struggling to deal with my loss I was introduced to Children of Jannah, the only Islamic bereavement support in the UK helping to deal with child loss,” said Mrs Hassan, now the charity’s West Yorkshire co-ordinator.
To find out more, e-mail: westyork firstname.lastname@example.org.