A mum who tragically lost two sons has done a skydive to raise money for a charity that helps families affected by the death of a baby.

Chrissy Portnall, 33, and husband Gregory, 36, have been trying for a baby for 10 years.

In 2013 they found out Mrs Portnall had PCOS - Polycystic ovary syndrome, which affects fertility.

After having tried to get pregnant and going backwards and forwards with tests they saw a consultant at a fertility clinic in 2014 and we were told their only option was IVF.

However, Mrs Portnall started to lose weight and her husband gave up smoking and around June 2015, something made her take a pregnancy test. Surprisingly it was positive.

She said: “Greg and I couldn't believe it.”

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Tragically, on October 4, 2015, things started to go wrong.

“I knew I losing my baby,” she said. “The ambulance was called and I was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital. At 6.20pm sadly our son George was born at 16 weeks old.

“I had an infection and I haemorrhaged. I lost one and a half litres of blood and was close to having a blood transfusion. I had to have two operations in space of a day and was in hospital for about four days.

"Greg and I were devastated after trying for so long.”

But around seven months later Mrs Portnall fell pregnant naturally again which was again a huge surprise.

She said: “We were regularly checked with scans due to what happened with the last pregnancy and even felt the baby kick around 17 weeks.

“On the morning of August 24, 2016, I started bleeding again. I was rushed to hospital where they checked the baby’s heartbeat. It was still beating so I thought there was a chance the baby was OK but when the doctor checked me they couldn’t save the pregnancy.

“They discovered I had a severe infection. They had to induce me and I think I was in labour for around 11 hours.

“Theodore was born at 19 weeks and three days old on August 25 at 9.05am.

"We were heartbroken for it to happen again to us. There were no words to describe the pain we were suffering to lose another baby within a year.”

To help cope with their grief the couple spoke to the charity Sands which offers support to families affected by stillbirth and neonatal death.

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Mrs Portnall said: “I decided in December 2020 that I wanted to raise some money for them and I saw them mention they were holding a skydive event in May so I signed myself up.

“I have never done anything like this before but on May 1 I jumped out of plane at 13,000ft at Hinton Airfield in Brackley. It was such a surreal experience."

Mrs Portnall, who is trying for another baby, has now raised an amazing £2,119 for Sands so far.

She said: “My original target was £500, so I’m overwhelmed. Sands helps support bereaved families and save babies' lives. Because of fundraisers, vital research can continue in helping to reduce the number of babies dying each day."

Go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Chrissy-Portnall2