Hollyoaks actress Kirsty-Leigh Porter has announced on social media that her daughter was delivered stillborn.
The 30-year-old, who plays Leela Lomax on the Channel 4 soap, said her heart had “never felt pain like it”.
She shared a picture of her daughter’s hospital wristband and hand and footprints on social media.
She revealed that her daughter, Penny-Leigh, had been born 11 weeks early in December. “Sleep sweetly our angel. We will always love you,” she wrote.
Porter had announced she was expecting with her partner Paul Barber in November.
She told OK!: “We were really, really happy. You just feel everything at once.
“With acting, you don’t know when you’re OK to be like, ‘Let’s take a year out and do this.’ You’re just prepared when it happens, and we’re so happy it’s happened for us now.”
The actress received a number of messages of support online from friends and colleagues.
TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher wrote: “I am so, so sorry Kirsty, I didn’t know. How brave you are. Thinking of you both and sending you so much love and strength.”
Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste Hay on the soap, wrote: “I love you both you strong pair.”
Amy Conachan, who plays Courtney Campbell in Hollyoaks, added: “Could not love you more. Such a strong woman.”
- In the UK, about 1 in 225 pregnancies ends in stillbirth, which is formally defined as when a baby dies in the womb after 24 weeks
- Failure of the placenta is the most common reason for a baby to be stillborn – about half of such deaths are for this reason
- In England and Wales, it’s a legal requirement to register a stillbirth within 42 days. In Scotland it’s 21 days, while a stillbirth doesn’t have to be registered in Northern Ireland
- The body of any baby that dies after 24 weeks must be buried or cremated. It’s up to the parents to decide whether to hold a service
If you have been affected by stillbirth, the following organisations might be able to help: