A woman from Farnworth who tragically lost her baby is using her experience to help parents in the same position.

Tracy Walters, aged 49, tragically lost her son, Dexter, when he was just 54 days old, to a mucoepidermoid carcinoma, a type of tumour.

Tracy, went to meetings of Sands, the leading charity for stillbirth and neonatal deaths in the UK, which helped her greatly – now she’s paying it back with a Sands group of her own.

She said: “I lost my first son, Dexter, over 10 years ago. I went to Sands meetings myself and had to travel to Manchester from Bolton.

“I approached Sands four to five years ago to set up a group in Bolton – I wanted to give something back.”

She described the circumstances of her son’s tragic death.

Tracy said: “My son was born prematurely in June 2012 and he got a condition called MEC.

“He had to have an operation on his bowel but passed away at 54 days old. He was doing well and then he wasn’t.”

Sands exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.

It has support groups which hold monthly meetings to help parents who have lost their babies.

Tracy spoke on how important Sands was to her when she lost Dexter.

She said: “Just to know that other people are going through the same thing helps.

“It can be quite a lonely place, you’re thinking why is this happening to me, and when you speak to family, friends, it’s not the same cause they can’t relate.”

She added: “But when you go to a group, it helps to be with people who are going through it.

“I called it my lifeboat, you cling onto it in choppy water.”

June is Sands awareness month, with the charity aiming to raise awareness of itself and its groups, so that anyone who loses their baby knows there is support available.

Tracy highlighted the importance of Sands awareness.

She said: “It’s really important. People need to know what to say when someone loses a baby.

“It’s important that people know these groups are out there.”

She said: “When we go to these meetings we cry and laugh and do everything in between.

“Learning to do anything other than sorrow is tricky to do. I’ve still got two friends I met who’ve gone on and made families, and have made loads of friends from the group.”

Sands also currently have a campaign calling on NHS leaders to provide professionals access to bereavement care training.

They say that only 12 per cent of trusts and boards give time in working hours to attend bereavement training, which isn't enough.

Bolton Sands meet on the first Tuesday of every month at The Hub in Westhoughton.

If you’d like to contact Bolton Sands, their Facebook page is called Bolton Sands, or you can call the Sands Helpline on 0808 164 3332.