Actor James Murray opens up about finding purpose following the death of his eight-month-old daughter

James's daughter died from a heart defect.

james murray

James Murray was on This Morning to promote his new show Age Before Beauty but he also discussed the death of his eight-year-old daughter Ella-Jayne, and how he has found purpose in life since her death.

James's daughter Ella-Jayne died in 2009 aged just eight-months-old due to a rare genetic condition that caused a defect in her heart.

James and his wife, fellow actor Sarah Parish, set up the Murray Parish Trust in memory of their late daughter.

This Morning host Eamonn Holmes asked James about the trust and he said it had absolutely given him a new sense of purpose and helped him deal with his loss.

He said: 'Absolutely. It puts, what I do as a day job...I'm very lucky I'm being paid to do something vocational. But running the Trust, and raising funds for this much-needed facility, kind of puts everything into a distant second.'

James and his wife Sarah have another daughter together, eight-year-old Nell.

James Murray Sarah Parish

Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Sarah has spoken about the day she found her daughter lifeless in her cot.

She revealed: 'Even when she died, there was this terrible grief. But also this rush of euphoria, for having known her and having been given a gift.'

Later, in an interview with OK! Magazine Sarah explained: 'When you go through something as a traumatic as what we went through, you want to give something back. You don’t want it to have happened all for nothing. The Murray Parish Trust is helping to keep her memory alive for us.'

The Murray Parish Trust was set up in 2014 and is based in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital Southampton.

The funds raised go towards funding a full time counsellor for parents whose children have been admitted to the unit, a specialist air ambulance designed to transport critically ill infants to and from the hospital and the provision of two new bed spaces.

On the website for the trust, Sarah and James explain: 'There is only one way to numb the pain of losing a child and that is to help other children. To try and make a difference to their lives and help give them the future they deserve.'

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.