I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. At the age of five, I was enthralled by the miracle of childbirth and briefly toyed with the idea of following my parents into the medical profession, telling everyone I knew that I wanted to be a “Baby Doctor”. By the age of eight, I thought I could also be a Lollypop Lady on the side. By the age of sixteen, I had dropped all notion of being a doctor and I wanted to do something “businessey”. What that meant exactly, I had no idea. I went on to study Land Economy at Newnham College, Cambridge. Although I’d never heard of the subject, my careers teacher — to whom I’ll ever be grateful — said it would be worth considering given its breadth and the fact I had little idea of what I wanted to do. During my three years at university, the ultimate career choice continued to elude me. I thought I could be a lawyer, but pouring over the minutiae of semantics and never-ending sentences didn’t exactly get me excited; nor did accountancy for that matter.
When I graduated, I joined an investment bank without a clue as to what a bond or commodity or a stock really was. I remember my first day, feeling a fraud amongst the go-getters who had the latest exchange rates and stock prices on the tip of their tongues. I didn’t think I’d last the distance. By some miracle I lasted eleven years.
Priorities changed. I got married, had a family and I left the City. I had always loved reading and for some time I’d thought about the idea of writing a book. So that’s what I did — with a little bit of help from Faber Academy.
Lastly, The Silent Children, was awarded the silver medal for best suspense/thriller in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Support for UK charity – Borne
I will be donating 50% of the royalties from The Silent Children to the charity, Borne (registered charity number 1067412-7) to support their research into preventing death and disability in childbirth.
Borne aims to prevent disability and death in childbirth and create lifelong health for mothers and babies. It was created in response to a real need:
- In the UK alone, more than 1 in 10 babies are born too soon – that’s nearly 80,000 every year.
- Premature birth is responsible for 70% of disability and death in newborn babies.
Borne was set up by the maternity team at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the hospital’s charity, CW+, and a group of parents – our Founding Donors. So far they have already raised over £3 million, which has enabled them to:
- Identify possible treatments which should reduce the risk of preterm labour in high-risk pregnancies from 35% to 10% or less.
- Train medical teams to deal with obstetric emergencies in resource poor countries.
- Conduct a study highlighting the link between maternal diet and a baby’s brain development.
Going forward, if they succeed in raising a further £3 million, they will:
- Identify ways to reduce the risk and complications of preterm birth.
- Develop ways to prevent pre-eclampsia, a life threatening pregnancy condition.
- Investigate how to prevent necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), a bowel condition which is the second most common cause of death in neonatal intensive care units in the developed world.