A heartbroken young mum has been refused a funeral grant to bury her premature daughter - because her baby was born two weeks too early.
Kayleigh Yates, aged 25, underwent an emergency Caesarean section and came close to death herself.
But she has been told she cannot receive funds to pay for a burial for daughter Lacie as her baby girl was born under 24 weeks - the legal age of viability - and was ‘not classed a baby’.
Kayeigh, aged 25, of Arthur Street, Bentley, who gave birth 22 weeks into her pregnancy, said: “I am completely disgusted.
“Having to go through losing Lacie was traumatic enough, but then to be told my daughter wasn’t a real baby was horrible.
“She had fingers, toes, she was a fully formed baby - she was my daughter.
“I went through an operation and doctors said I came very close to dying.
“I wanted to have a proper send-off for her and somewhere to be able to visit a grave.”
Doctors were unable to save Lacie, and Kayleigh spent two weeks in intensive care herself after contracting an infection during the traumatic birth.
Afterwards Kayleigh, who is out of work, said she was told by the Jobcentre she would be able to claim cash for the funeral as a grant, as she could not afford to pay for it.
The family of Kayleigh’s ex-partner ended up stumping up £1,200 for a funeral - but Kayleigh said she was relying on the Jobcentre grant to pay them back.
Kayleigh, who is also mum to Lexi, three, and Leighton, five, says she will now be forced to repay the money herself in instalments.
The availability of a funeral grant is based on the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, which defines stillbirth as ‘a child born dead after 24 weeks’ gestation, the legal age of viability’.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We’re terribly sorry for Ms Yates’ loss. As a department we must be consistent with broader legislation.”
Kayleigh is now throwing herself into fundraising to raise cash for Bliss, the premature baby charity, in memory of Lacie who was born on April 17.
As part of her efforts, Kayleigh is taking part in a charity buggy walk on June 29.
Kayleigh said: “I’m still hurting but I just want to do what I can to help other people.”
Supporters can join in on the day at 12noon at Lakeside in Doncaster, or call Kayleigh on 07881 209 201.