Baby loss families unite in grief and fundraising
18 October 2018
October is baby loss awareness month, the following couples have all helped raise money for and improve the facilities at Southend University Hospital’s Butterfly Suite, a safe and private haven that offers a family a safe and comfortable space to spend time with their baby and receive open visiting from family and friends. It’s a vital facility for families impacted by the death of their baby.
Amanda Cushing, Bereavement Support Midwife at the Trust, said:
"I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of the local families who
have given time and donations to help others. It is so kind that
after they have been through such a sad time themselves to offer
such support to other families who are also experiencing such a
"The money raised has enabled us to improve the healing
environment of our Butterfly Suite, with new furniture and to
purchase gifts of 'heart in their hand' charms, hand and foot print
kits and casting kits to allow us to offer a family beautiful
lasting memories of their baby that can help the family in their
Here are their stories…
In memory of Alfie Cox
Emma Cox, from Ashingdon, said: "Following the amazing support
Danny, my husband, and I received in the Butterfly Suite in July
2016, we decided that we wanted to 'give something back' to say
thank you. In March 2017 we held a prosecco and cake party at our
house raising over £1,000 for Aching Arms and the Butterfly
Bereavement Suite. We then went even bigger this year and
held Alfie's Ball to raise money for SCBU and the Butterfly Suite
"The care we received throughout all of our difficult times made
the experiences more bearable and we would like to help others
while making sure Alfie is not forgotten."
In memory of James Garrick
Lynsey and Mike Garrick, from Shoebury, said: "When we lost our
son, James, in March, we didn't think anyone or anything could ease
the pain. But the support, care and assurance from Amanda and the
team at the Butterfly Suite were incredible. The
self-contained apartment was the perfect place to give birth to a
sleeping baby, private, comfortable and full of resources to help
get us both through such a traumatic experience.
"When we found out the Butterfly Suite was funded by parents and
families of lost little ones, we vowed to support the team and
unit. Our families have donated towards the fund, we've named
James' Legacy, and friends have taken part in challenges and events
on our behalf."
In memory of Vinnie Beisser
Rebecca and Carl Beisser, from Eastwood, said: "On 4 May at our
20 week scan we found out our baby no longer had a heartbeat. On 6
May we gave birth to our son Vinnie at Southend Hospital in the
Butterfly Suite. All the staff were amazing however the room was
very hot and unfortunately due to the nature of the room the
windows could not be opened.
"We decided that in memory of our son we wanted to raise money
to have an air conditioning unit fitted in the suite. We
ended up raising £2,000 and were completely over whelmed at the
generosity of not only friends and family but also people who we
hadn't seen for years and years and from people we hadn't even met.
Our aim was to do something amazing in our son's name and we have
thankfully been able to achieve it."