Monday, 22 Apr 2024

The tragic real-life story that broke The Repair Shop's Jay Blades

The tragic real-life story that broke The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades: Couple who lost their five-month-old baby son leave millions of viewers in tears after asking experts to restore clay imprint of his tiny feet

  • Emese and Luke Carter-Whittley from Leicester brought in the treasured item
  • They asked team to repair footprints of their son David, who had passed away 

A couple whose son died at just five months old left The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and viewers in tears after their poignant restoration was featured.

Emese and Luke Carter-Whittley, from Leicester, had brought in a treasured picture of their late son David and his footprints.

Sadly the clay-cast imprints had cracked and the couple asked Jay, 53, and his team to repair the damage.

Emese choked back tears as she told the team their heartbreaking story. Little David passed away after a cardiac arrest, and was survived by his twin brother Joshua. 

She said: ‘It’s our baby boy’s footprints. This is David on one side and his footprints on the other side.’ She added that a mother ‘should never have to decide’ when to turn off her baby’s life support. 

Emese Carter-Whittley with her premature twins Joshua and David

Emese and Luke said: ‘This is David on one side and his footprint on the other side but as you can see it is cracked up on the footprints but also on the other side it has shrunk’

She added: ‘As you can see, it’s cracked up on the footprints, but also on the side it shrunk.

‘David was our son and he passed away at five months. We did the footprints at the hospital a couple of days before he passed away so it is really precious to us.’

Husband Luke added that David and Joshua and they had been born pre-term at 26 weeks.

Emese said: ‘Three months early so they actually spent almost three months in the hospital neo-natal. We actually only had him for two months at home.

‘I do remember increasingly how worried I was about David because I noticed he was not doing as well as he should and obviously I had his brother who was thriving and I took David to A&E because we had a very bad night with him.

‘That’s when he had the cardiac arrest.

The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades was left in tears during Wednesday night’s episode of the show when a couple showed him their late baby son’s footprints

The mould of their late son’s footprints had sunk and cracked 

‘One day after we found out that he had a very serious heart condition and the doctors couldn’t do anything for him sadly.’

Emese said that doctors had asked when they wanted to turn off his life support.

She said: ‘In a sense, the hardest was that they said we could decide when we wanted the life support to be turned off.

‘I said to Luke “I can’t decide”. As a mother, you should never.’

Emese broke down and was comforted by her husband, who added: ‘Those last days are etched on your heart forever.’ 

His wife said: ‘We would just love to be able to see our little boy’s perfect little footprints as they were.’ 

Hearing them speak, Jay become emotional.

Jay told restorer Kirsten: ‘I really don’t know how you are going to do this, this seems really tricky to me’

The result of the repair was stunning and was described as ‘beautiful’ by the emotional couple

They asked if the show’s Kirsten Ramsey was able to help with the footprints. She said: ‘He is a beautiful boy, I can see that.

‘It must break your hearts to see that like that. It is going to be genuinely very tricky but I will do everything that I can to make it look as good as possible.’

As the couple went out of shot, Jay removed his hat and took a deep breath, while struggling to compose himself.

He told Kirsten: ‘I really don’t know how you are going to do this, this seems really tricky to me,’ before wishing her good luck.

The programme showed how Kirsten delicately removed filler that had been put on the precious memorial.

She then used a consolidant to stabilise the broken parts of the moulding. Epoxy putty was then used to fill the gaps created by the damage.

She then tested a number of fillers to find the best one to make the fix.

Kirsten added: ‘I want this to be perfect when it goes back to Emese and Luke.’ 

The couple were delighted at the result, wiping away tears as the memorial was returned to them. 

Emese gasped: ‘Oh look at that. It’s beautiful.’

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