Haden’s decorated lawned grave before extra items were removed (Image: supplied)
Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
A couple have made the difficult decision to move their son's grave so they can decorate it as they wish – and are now offering the empty burial plot to a family in need.
Baby Haden died 13 years ago when mum Clare Bata went into sudden premature labour – aged just 16.
She was taken to hospital after 19 weeks of her pregnancy while suffering significant blood loss but, sadly, was told her newborn was beyond saving.
Clare and husband Mike were then faced with a heartbreaking decision over Haden's burial, reports Leicestershire Live.
The couple were given two options – a free hospital burial on a shared plot containing four other babies or a private service, which would mean more freedom over decoration.
Clare and Mike Bata made the painful decision to move their son after 13 years
Covid care home deaths at highest since May after jump in fatalities over Christmas
Doctors forced to bin vaccines as people 'fail to turn up for appointments’
They chose the latter but claim they were then only offered a lawned grave at Gilroes Cemetery – which came with more restrictions than they expected.
Clare said: "We weren't allowed to leave anything for him apart from a 15-centimetre border of flowers.
"We would try to leave more there and decorate it how we wanted but it kept getting taken away. We went back and forth with the council, we pleaded and petitioned."
And in the years that the dispute between the family and council went on, Michael, Haden's father, was unable to visit the grave.
Clare added: "He found it really hard and struggled to go."
It was later explained to the couple that two burial plot options should have been made available to them by the funeral director – despite only being offered a lawned grave at the time.
A Leicester City Council spokesperson explained that only flowers are allowed on lawned graves "otherwise [the] cemetery team would be unable to maintain them".
They said: "Anyone who wishes to personalise a plot with toys or other items will need to purchase a traditional grave."
The couple continued to decorate the grave which cemetery workers began leaving untouched a couple of years ago – something Clare said she was grateful for.
But last year the items on Haden's grave were removed for the last time – which is what pushed the family to make the difficult decision of moving his body.
Clare said: "They took everything away and left a notice on a piece of wood hammered into the ground saying items would be removed. That was when we decided to had to move him.
Clare and Michael, with their 12-year-old son Ryley, who was born after the passing of their son Haden
(Image: Collect Unknown)
"Moving Haden was heartbreaking – it was difficult, but the council made sure we got the plot we wanted in the end."
The couple, from Leicester, then picked a new burial spot with the help of the council, which they wanted to make sure was "perfect".
She said: "We had to change the coffin and this time I got to choose a special, Peter Pan one for him. I wasn't given a choice last time.
"Because I had Haden before 20 weeks, he wasn't considered a person, he didn't get a birth certificate. But to us, he was our little Haden.
"This happens to a lot of women but not everyone talks about it, it's a bit of a taboo."
Soon after losing Haden, Clare became pregnant with her second son Ryley, now 12.
She was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix ahead of the birth, which she then understood had led to Haden's premature birth.
After moving Haden to his new resting place, Clare and Mike still own the burial plot for the lawned grave and now want to give it away to a family that needs it.
She said: "Losing a baby is so difficult and especially now when people have lost jobs, planning a funeral is difficult.
"We just want to make things a bit easier for a family that needs it. We will also cover the costs of transferring over the deeds to the plot."
The city council say they will continue to help the family as they look to transfer the plot.
A spokesperson said: "We worked with Mrs Bata to find a solution and move her son’s remains to a traditional grave, so that she can remember him in the way she wishes.
"Mrs Bata has thanked us for helping her with this.
"We understand how distressing such matters can be for families and we do all we can to help.
"We apply the rules so that we can maintain the cemetery for all visitors who come to pay their respects to their loved ones."
The couple shared a post on Facebook, and have urged any families who need it to get in touch.