Connor takes on skydive challenge in Ruby’s memory

18th June 2016

A young Melton Mowbray father is taking on a skydive in memory of his baby daughter, who died from meningitis, and to support our work fighting back against the disease

Skydiving challenge

Connor Clark, 21, who lost his daughter Ruby at just eight days old in February 2012, will take on the challenge on 25 June.

He is determined to fund the skydive himself and has saved the money to do this. “I am paying for the dive myself as I want all the money to go to the charity. I just want to do something that may help other parents from not having to go through what I have gone through.”

When Connor’s baby girl Ruby was born in February 2012, the 16-year-old couldn’t have been prouder.

Sadly, only eight days later baby Ruby lost her battle with meningitis, something doctors said she had ‘caught from the air within hours of birth’. She died in Leicester Royal Infirmary.

“I was devastated” Connor said. “I didn’t know I would love her so much until she was born and for her to be taken so soon was heartbreaking”.

Struggled with emotions

Only young himself Connor struggled to deal with the emotions surrounding Ruby’s death. “I just needed to block the pain out”, he added. “I ended up slowly going off the rails. I was in a very dark place. I would go to sleep but when I woke up, the reality of losing my beautiful baby girl was still there.”

The following years were difficult but Connor managed to get and then hold down a part-time job at Kettleby Foods and another working for a local window cleaner. Employment certainly helped but in his free time it was substances he turned to.

In April last year Connor was given a card from a worker at one of the services at MeAndMyLearning, a project in Melton Mowbray that aims to help people move on in their lives and achieve their goals.

“I knew I needed to do something”, Connor said. ”I just couldn’t go on doing what I was doing. At the end of the day I wanted Ruby to look down and be proud of the man her dad had become. So, I phoned the number, arranged an appointment and went to see what help I could get.“ 

Good to talk to someone

“It was good to talk to someone. My worker and I looked at my goals and what I wanted and needed and somehow over the next few months I stopped doing the things that were making me unwell and causing me problems.”

“After about six months of seeing my worker I had passed my probation at work, started driving lessons and bought my own little bit of the window cleaning round. We decided I no longer needed to see her for support.”

“Since then I have managed on my own and have been able to use all the money I would have spent on trying to block my emotions out on building my future. I’m even due to take my driving test any day, something I wouldn’t have thought possible before.”

“So now it is time to do something special in memory of my little girl.”

Leah Wynn, our Community Fundraiser, said: “We’re so grateful to Connor, and everyone who is supporting him on his skydive challenge – what a fantastic achievement and I’m sure Ruby would be proud of him.”

To sponsor Connor go to his Just Giving page  or text  RBLU73 to 70070.