AFL star recalls agony of stillborn son - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL star recalls agony of stillborn son

By Steve Larkin 19/08/2010 02:53:19 PM Comments (0)

In the midst of Port Adelaide's worst ever losing streak, defender Troy Chaplin was in a far deeper agony.

His coach Mark Williams was about to quit, but Chaplin's mind was elsewhere.

Chaplin missed his only game this year in round 13, citing personal reasons.

Only now has the 24-year-old revealed why: his first child had been stillborn.

The boy, Archie, was lost when Chaplin's wife, Lisa, was 20 weeks pregnant.

"It was tough, you don't want to go through that," Chaplin said on Thursday.

"You're looking forward to the happy day when your wife gives birth to your first child, and unfortunately we missed out on that opportunity."

Chaplin has two motives for speaking about their pain: to assist their grieving process, and to help others.

The Chaplins want to raise awareness and donations for the Teddy Love Club, a national support program for bereaved parents who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Chaplin said the harrowing experience gave him a new perspective on life and football.

"It just goes to show that footy is just a game," he said.

"We are in it as a business, you can get upset over losing games of football - but there is more happening in the world.

"It gets tough out there on a football field but it's nothing in the sense of what we went through off the field.

"When things get tough on a footy field, I just think of what my wife has been through and what we went through together, and you soon forget about it on the field."

Chaplin said he was lucky - he had football, his club, and teammates as "a bit of an escape".

But his wife is a paediatric nurse at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital.

"She's dealing with young kids from zero to one-year-olds, so it was going to be very tough for her," Chaplin said.

"But we sought outside help.

"You have your moments, but as long as you can talk about it and be open with one another, you are going to get through it.

"You are going to be up and down and over time it's going to plateau out.

"But there are going to be times when he was due, his first birthday, Christmas - those time are going to be tough.

"But as long as you're together ... you are going to get through it."

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