Sarah Parish and James Murray say building daughter’s legacy helps with grief

Sarah Parish and James Murray have opened up on creating a legacy in memory of their tragic daughter.

The Cutting It stars, 50 and 43, were devastated by the loss of Ella-Jayne, who died aged just eight months old of a rare heart defect in January 2009.

The actors revealed that building a brand new trauma centre, which will be used by 30,000 child patients each year, has helped with the grieving process.

They managed to raise £2million, which was matched by the government, for Southampton University hospital.

Sarah and James have no idea when they started their campaign 10 years ago that it would "snowball" and grow so big.

Sarah Parish and James Murray say building daughter's legacy helps with grief

Sarah Parish and James Murray have transformed the pediatric ward at the University Hospital Southampton in memory of daughter Ella-Jayne who died in 2009
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Sarah Parish and James Murray say building daughter's legacy helps with grief

James and Sarah revealed how they did it and what’s next for their increasingly successful charity.
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

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  • How James Murray found a ‘purpose again’ after death of his and Sarah Parish’s eight-month-old daughter Ella-Jayne

When asked if it helped with the grieving process, James said: "Undoubtedly. The grief changes and transforms as time goes by.

"But to create a legacy in memory of Ella-Jayne with something like this which other people will benefit from helps you deal with something you shouldn’t have to deal with."

Sarah added: "We feel very proud to have known her. She has this legacy and is helping other children. That time of trauma means something for us."

Sarah Parish and James Murray say building daughter's legacy helps with grief

Sarah and James have raised a lot of money
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

They explained that currently children in the ward have to share a space with older patients and there are only four beds for infants.

Sarah said: "It was so date and awful. We wanted a centre of excellence in the south of England. Children can have the dignity they need when going through the most traumatic experience of their lives."

The couple thanked their amazing support team who have been working behind them.

James said: "Awareness is a better currency than money yourself when you’re a charity. Getting your message out there is the best thing you can do."

Sarah Parish and James Murray say building daughter's legacy helps with grief

They want to start a new project next
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

They are now looking forward to starting on their next big project.

He said: "Because of the success we’ve had we’ve been inundated with requests from other chairites. We’re taking a bit of time to see how to use ourselves best.

"It will be bigger and more exciting and ambitious than the last. Watch this space."

This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10.30am

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