A GRIEVING dad has taken on a huge fundraising challenge in memory of his daughter and her newborn child after their tragic deaths.

Chris Lawrence, 55, of Clacton, was left devastated when his daughter Zoe died last year.

He has now vowed to test his willpower to the limit with a colossal weight-loss bid for charity in her memory.

Zoe Rimington was eight months pregnant with baby Elsie when she started to suffer severe pains in December.

An ambulance rushed her to hospital but she tragically died on the way, despite the best efforts of paramedics to revive her.

She suffered a fatal splenic artery aneurysm during childbirth, aged just 27.

Baby Elsie was born once they reached the hospital, but died soon afterwards.

The family was left heartbroken and said they had “lost two angels”.

Now Zoe’s dad Chris has set himself a huge weight loss challenge, aiming to lose three stone in just 30 days to raise cash for the Circulation Foundation.

He said: “We lost our daughter to an aneurysm and the Circulation Foundation was the only charity that had anything to do with helping people with that condition.

“I wanted to do something for them, and to do something positive in Zoe’s memory.

“I’m disabled, diabetic, arthritic and obese, so I couldn’t sign up for a fun run or a sky dive.

“But I decided to do something which hopefully does the charity and myself some good.”

Chris started off weighing just over 27 stone.

He devised a safe diet of fruit and vegetable juice drinks for the first week, before switching to healthy meals for the rest of the month.

In his first week he lost one stone and four pounds, and is now set for his second week weigh-in.

Chris is keeping an online journal of his meals and progress at zoesgift.co.uk/3-stone-weight-loss-in-30-days.htm

He added: “It’s a real challenge but it’s going well so far. I’m feeling pretty strong.

“When you’ve got people sponsoring you and depending on you, and it’s for a great cause, it makes it easier to keep going.

“Zoe and Elsie’s deaths are still really raw for us. It is still early days.

“We are just carrying on as best we can. We will never get over it or fully recover from it, but you have to just take it day by day and do your best.

“It feels good to be doing something positive for her and hopefully it will really help the charity.”

People can sponsor Chris for his huge weight loss effort online at justgiving.com/fundraising/3-stone-in-30-days