‘I lost my dad and became a father within 24 hours hours’ - parent’s bittersweet joy
Terry Simmonds tells of his bittersweet journey to parenthood with help of Birmingham hospitals
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A man lost his dad and became a first-time parent - within 24 hours.
Terry Simmonds, 44, and his wife Lisa, 45, struggled to get pregnant for 13 years and she suffered 24 miscarriages. In April 2022 they tried £2,600 IVF treatment in the Czech Republic and four months later found they were pregnant.
Despite an easy pregnancy, 30 weeks in Lisa was sent to Birmingham Women’s Hospital for complications with her kidney and liver. Medics performed an emergency c-section the next day. But as his wife was preparing for the procedure, Terry got a call from mum, Denise Simmonds, 66, who said his dad, also called Terry, was dying.
Terry rushed to see his dad at the Birmingham City Hospital, and said goodbye at 7.45pm on March 9. Just 12 hours later the couple’s first child, Lewis, now three months old, was born at 1:45pm, weighing 3lbs 3oz. on March 10. Terry, a foundry operator, from Wordsley, in Stourbridge, said: ‘’My first fathers day without my dad, and being a new father was ‘bittersweet.’
"I lost my dad and became a father in 24 hours. My parents were so supportive of us having a child. I can’t believe my dad will never meet him. But after trying for so long, I’m happy I could start a family. Lewis will continue the family legacy, I know my dad would be so proud."
Lisa, former manager at Asda, said: "After trying for so long we we’re so grateful to get a chance to be parents. We just want to give our baby boy the best life possible. We were devastated that they didn’t meet but I hope he’s looking down on us. He’s growing big and strong just like his old man."
Lisa and Terry met online in 2008, before getting together two years later. ‘’I told Terry I’d previously had eight miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, but he was really supportive,’’ she said. Just five years later, they had suffered 12 more miscarriages.
Lisa said: "I kept asking what was wrong, but the doctors couldn’t give me an answer. They said it was because of my weight.” In July 2012, she had a gastric bypass operation and lost 15 stone in four years. Terry and his wife went aboard for fertility treatment in April 2022.
Terry’s dad took a turn for the worse after suffering with untreatable pulmonary fibrosis in his lungs. Doctors thought Terry would last two more years, but after suffering perforated ulcer in his stomach, he was too weak to have an operation.
Terry said: "I was terrified about the op to have the baby removed. Then I hear that my dad was dying Everything was happening all at once. All I felt was worry and fear. I said my goodbyes but he wasn’t doing well."
Lisa said: ‘’Being a parent is definitely hard. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think Father’s day is going to be a celebration and a day of grieving. It will be the first time they’ve not been together for Father’s day. We’ve kept his dad alive with keeping the Simmonds name. Lewis Terry Simmonds is just as stubborn as his grandad."