MIEKA Cope was just 13 when tragedy hit her family, after her two-month-old nephew died suddenly.
Joshua Cope was discovered lifeless in his baby seat by his devastated mum Nicola when the pair had been on a journey together. At the time, his tragedy was put down to sudden infant death syndrome, though, five years on, the exact reason for his death remains shrouded in mystery.
Now, Mieka is fund-raising to try to help others become more aware of cot death, in the hope that fewer families will have to face the horror which descended for her own relatives.
The 18-year-old told the Mail: “I think it will help other people and raise awareness of cot death. I think maybe some people still don’t know a lot about it.”
Mieka, of Somerset Road, Stapenhill, is planning to swim five miles to raise money for the Lullaby Trust, which provides information on safe sleep and supports bereaved families following cot death.
She will complete the 320 lengths – one mile for each year since he died – on the fifth anniversary of his death on October 29.
“With it being five years, I thought a five-mile swim would be ideal,” Mieka said.
Already a keen swimmer, who competes in the Burton area in her spare time, she said she hoped she would not struggle with the distance.
It is not the first time Mieka has taken part in fund-raising activities in her nephew’s memory. Last year, she and some other members of the family entered a charity football match, but this time she said she thought she would strike out alone.
She wants to raise at least £100 for the charity, but said she hopes to beat that amount.
At an inquest into Joshua’s death in 2009, doctors described him as ‘a completely normal baby’, saying there could have been a number of factors which led to the tragedy.
Sudden infant death syndrome - or cot death – happens to around one in every 2,500 babies, and is most common in the first three months of a child’s life.
To sponsor Mieka in her efforts visit http://www.justgiving.com/Mieka-Cope.