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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 devastating loss.

"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 grieving."



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 again. 

"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."