Showing posts tagged with: 'campaign'


Fresh inspiration

Sun 6th Apr 2008 by Ben Palmer.

Quilted Calico 2Nearly six years ago, Jessica and I bought our first house. It was a big project, and we knew it would be a long term one. We did a lot of refurbishment and decorating together for a couple of years, but it all came to a halt in 2004.

Since then I have done very little myself, rarely finding the time or the inspiration, but two weeks ago I decided to sort out the mess that was my study/home office. I could never find paper work that I needed, and could barely get in past the jumble of our lives.

The project snowballed: I needed better storage for my bills, receipts, solicitor letters and school reports, so I went to IKEA. It was better, but it still looked wrong: new furniture against bare floor boards, ripped embossed wall paper and dirty, chipped paintwork. It was obvious why I rarely worked in there, I even wrote my book at the kitchen table. The room needed a real face lift, so out came the new filing cabinets and drawers again, the desk and everything else too.

Wall paper stripped, walls filled and sanded, floor covered in limed oak strip boards, walls and ceiling lined and painted in two coats of 'Quilted Calico 2', light bulbs replaced, it's now a much brighter and cleaner room to be in. It's a room I'll be happy to sit in when looking for blogin'spiration or working on the Jessica's trust campaign, which has been rather neglected while I've been brush in hand.

There's still so much to do.

tags:

4 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

An Inspector Calls

Thu 28th Feb 2008 by Ben Palmer.

poster_thumbnail.pngI had a visit from the VAT Inspector this morning. I got a bit behind with my VAT Returns and they wanted to make sure I wasn't up to no good.

Business has been slow to non existant for the past few years, so it didn't take long and we soon started to talk about what I was doing now. I showed her the first proof of Friday's Child, explained Jessica's trust and gave her a card.

"Oh, I heard about childbed fever on Woman's Hour," she told me, both shocked to hear that Jessica was a victim, fully understanding about my change of direction, and also impressed by my home printed business card.

"Can I have another card, to give to my friend? And do you have a poster? I could ask in the office if I can put one up on the notice board."

I don't have a current poster, the only one I've ever designed was promoting the now closed petition to the Prime Minister, so I've spent the rest of the day designing a new one.

I think it's clear what the message is, I hope it's suitably targetted at Mums, but before I press print, I'd love to know what you think of it. Please leave your thoughts, good or not-so-good, and suggestions in the comments below.

If you have somewhere that you can pin one up I'd love to hear from you as well. When it's fully refined I can make a hi res download available. If anyone knows a friendly (read 'low cost') printer as well, I might get some properly done.

Download the new poster [Link removed  7/3/08 pending redesign]
Update 30/05/08: The new poster and leaflet are now on-line

tags:

9 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Power to you, Mums

Tue 19th Feb 2008 by Ben Palmer.

Never under estimate the power of the Internet, or of mums.

My sister in law very kindly posted a request for help with our awareness survey on a very busy Mums website earlier this afternoon.

The response has been absolutely fantastic: in seven hours well over 100 people have filled in the survey form and the website has been busier than in ages.

The information so far is:

a) extremely useful
b) very interesting
c) anonymous (so please add your honest response as well)

What really touch me are the comments added on the response forms. They're under wraps, but let me just say that I feel encouraged, supported and useful.

There's no official end to the survey as yet, but at some point I will be showing the overall results to some big decision makers, to illustrate the need for a change of attitude, so please, add your voice and help us make changes - we don't want any more unnecessary tragedies.

tags:

3 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Intervention

Tue 29th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

For the last two weeks we've been without our nanny, who's on leave. In the past, being without help for this amount of time would have filled me with fear, dread and at times depression.

For the first time since Jessica died I feel I am coping. Maybe it's because both children are at school/nursery during the weekday, but I don't think that's the extent. Possibly I've graduated as a Mum (albeit with a very basic level of qualification) or possibly it's because I also feel I'm able to help do something about the terrible condition that killed our wife and mother. Something, anything that prevents another's death is good.

Children's bedtime tonight was prompt and relatively struggle free, but Emily interrupted our bedtime rituals with, 'Daddy, I really miss Carly [our nanny] and Mummy.'

"We'll see Carly again soon, darling, and ..."

"But I still miss Mummy, Daddy."

"... we know we can't see Mummy, but we can look at her photograph, because she's safe in Heaven now. Mummy doesn't want you to be sad, Emily."

"Oww. But I reeeally miss my Mummy. I want to see her now, Daddy."

Even when they're without tears, these conversations leave me in no doubt as to why I want to start the ball of change rolling.

tags:

Comments Off on Intervention  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Friday's Child is nearly ready

Wed 23rd Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

Thanks to Virgin Books and my hard-working editor, Friday's Child is almost finished. It'll be ready to print in a few weeks, in time for the June launch. It's got an updated cover as well, and for the first time I've seen the full book jacket - now I can imagine it on the bookshelves. I hope the reviewers are kind, though - it's my life, my inner thoughts and feelings. I also hope that it changes people's understanding of this cruel, painful killer.

From the jacket:

fridays_child_final_cover.jpg'In the summer of 2004, Ben Palmer was overjoyed when his wife Jessica gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Emily was their first daughter and a little sister for their three-year-old son Harry. They had everything they had ever wanted.

Six days later, Jessica died of childbed fever, an archaic illness that causes blood poisoning, a condition that can be easily detected and prevented.

This is Ben’s raw, moving account of dealing with his grief while raising two small children as a single parent, and of how he successfully sued the NHS for negligence. As he struggles to comprehend his loss and to care for their two young children, he is overwhelmed by shock, anger, despair and guilt, before finally finding hope in the future, thanks to the love and support of his friends and family.

A story of living with a cruel and needless loss, this is also a story of two people who loved each other for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; till death tragically parted them.'

Friday's Child is now available to order from Amazon

tags:

3 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Facebook

Tue 15th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

This evening I created a new Facebook group, also called Jessica's trust.

For those of you who use Facebook, you may like to join the group, and help spread the word about our campaign to raise awareness of childbed fever by inviting your online friends to join as well.

Thank you all for your recent messages of encouragement, and thank you for your support.

tags:

Comments Off on Facebook  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Campaign update

Tue 15th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

This year I want to really widen the campaign efforts, and I've been really fortunate to have been introduced to a professional campaigner by my brother.

Gill Kirk of Lyric Communications is helping, pro bono, to plan and setup the next stages of the campaign, and we have many exciting ideas - so watch this space. A huge thank you to Gill for this.

In the meantime, I'd be really grateful to get a little bit of feedback to help us in our planning, so please spare a few moments to complete this survey - there are only a few questions!

Childbed Fever Awareness Survey

tags:

2 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Stretching Midwives

Wed 9th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

The Daily Telegraph has a story today, Midwives struggle in labour ward crisis. The Evening Standard has also run it, Shocking figures show mothers and babies are at risk due to chronic shortage of midwives.

This isn't a new story, but the figures go on and on showing the crisis that maternity services are sliding into.

I'm just glad it keeps popping up in the news. If there's enough pressure on the government and their promises, they might one day be fulfilled.

I believe that one answer to Childbed Fever (amongst other issues) is to have midwives with enough knowledge, experience and time to be able to spot the symptoms before they can become life threatening. If there aren't enough midwives, that certainly isn't going to happen.

tags:

Comments Off on Stretching Midwives  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

Screen for GAS

Tue 8th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

BBC South Today has tonight reported further in the aftermath of the two tragic deaths at The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

The hospital has, to reassure its patients, implemented a screening programme for Group A Streptococcus, but it doesn't plan to continue with it beyond the short term.

So, is it just a PR exercise, or is this test an accurate and useful weapon against childbed fever (still nobody calls it that, it is still 'complications caused by...') There may 'only' be an average of six maternal sepsis deaths a year, but even one avoidable death is enough to warrant prevention, isn't it?

If the test is not accurate then why are they doing it? If it is not 'cost effective' to continue it or take it nationwide, does the NHS not consider what yet another death could cost it?

If there was anything that could stop mothers dying, surely a responsible government would want to implement it, when 30% of the population carry Group A Strep?

I hear so many stories from mothers who have only just survived a Group A Strep infection that, if the problem is not taken seriously, it will be a time bomb that we are sitting on.

If only infection rates were measured and not just deaths - this is a far more common problem than we are led to believe.

Watch the BBC's report 

tags:

1 Comment »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   

No news would have been good news

Sun 6th Jan 2008 by Ben Palmer.

There's been a fair bit of news recently (see here and here) about two poor mothers who gave birth on the same day, in the same hospital, and who both died within three days, just before Christmas. The coverage has focused on the fact that they both had a Group A Strep infection, and there has been much talk about infections (hospital and community acquired) and superbugs.

Luckily, it was acknowledged that GAS is not a superbug and that it is treatable. Unfortunately there was no mention of the fact that these two women died of Childbed/Puerperal Fever, and that it is a well documented and once much feared condition that should not be killing any more.

My heart goes out to these women and their families - how well Harry, Emily and I know their pain and confusion.

I have failed in my New Year's resolution to give up smoking (sorry, Harry) but am so far succeeding in my second - to tidy, sort and organise the house better. I also have a third: to step up the campaign to raise awareness of childbed fever. 2008 was always going to be a big year with the launch of my book, Friday's Child, in June but I want to make more noise and more of a difference than just that.

Thanks to a very kind person who has offered her professional help at no charge, I just may be able to. Many others have also offered to help, and I'm sure I'll be in touch.

tags:

4 Comments »  |  Trackback  |   Subscribe to RSS    Subscribe by Email   



What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
more»
What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
more »
Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
more »

This website contains general information about childbed fever. The information is not complete or comprehensive. You should not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should consult your doctor or other healthcare provider; and if you think you may be suffering from childbed fever (or any other medical condition) you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
variform
variform