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.

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