Wife of former PM Sarah Brown reveals tragedy of daughter’s death inspired charity

12:01 08 March 2012

Sarah Brown opens the London Quilters exhibition at Swiss Cottage Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Sarah Brown opens the London Quilters exhibition at Swiss Cottage Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The wife of ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spoken of the “unanswered questions” she was left with after her baby died.

The couple’s first child, Jennifer Brown, died in her parents’ arms in 2002 after suffering a brain haemorrhage at just ten days old.

She had been born two months premature.

Sarah Brown said the tragedy moved the couple to set up their own charity, PiggyBankKids, which funds medical research into the devastating problems affecting some pregnant mothers.

“When Gordon and I lost our daughter Jennifer we were looking for explanations and trying to understand better what had happened, but some of the questions never had answers,” she said.

“A lot of people in our situation had those unanswered questions.”

The former Parliament Hill resident said the quality of care her daughter received was excellent.

But the lack of understanding around the complications arising from premature births left the couple with unanswerable questions.

“What we had wanted to know was whether there was anything we could do which could prevent that happening to anyone else,” said Mrs Brown. “I hope that in this work we can help uncover some of these answers.”

The former Camden School for Girls pupil was speaking at the opening of an exhibition of quilts at Swiss Cottage Library, where a blanket of Gordon Brown’s interwoven ties was the star attraction.

The exhibit was sewn by Mrs Brown’s mother, Pauline Macaulay, and is part of a larger quilt which is at the couple’s home.

“When Gordon left office my mother wanted to make him something special,” said Mrs Brown.

“She had been sneaking away from me any ties that Gordon had, and then she finally got a pair of suit trousers from me.

“She came up with this wonderful quilt which sparkles like jewels.

“It is a wonderful memento to have in the house of all those ties he wore on those days when different important decisions were taken.”

The exhibition was put on by London Quilters, which Sarah Brown’s mother is a member of, and runs until March 31.

A special quilt, Autumn Gold, is being raffled for the charities Arthritis Care and PiggyBankKids.

Raffle tickets cost £1.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Monday, May 25, 2015

A 13-year old girl was raped by a man after meeting him the day before in Camden.

Monday, May 25, 2015
As TfL are taking over the London Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, it will now appear on the Tube map.

Train services from Shenfield to London Liverpool Street will be run by TfL from May 31.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Taffazul Hoque was last seen on  Friday May 22

Police are growing increasingly concerned for missing autistic man Taffazul Hoque who suffers from epilepsy.

Monday, May 25, 2015
The video shows a crowd confronting immigration officers

A video has emerged of a crowd confronting immigration officials in Peckham.

Friday, May 22, 2015
The body was found near Eel Pie Island [Photograph from Google StreetView]

The dead body of a man was found in the river today near Eel Pie Island.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more