Bereavement suite target for Wirral mum

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Arrowe Park Hospital © Google Maps

Arrowe Park Hospital © Google Maps

A Wirral mum is hoping a fundraising appeal to build a bereavement suite at Arrowe Park Hospital can become a reality.

The LMS Sleeping Baby Appeal was set up by Nicki Almond after she lost son, Leon, at 21 weeks pregnant in October 2013. In June 2014, Nicki then lost Maddison at 28 weeks pregnant.

There is currently no specific bereavement suite at the Wirral hospital, so this was a goal Nicki set herself as she thinks it is very important for the hospital to have this facility.

She told JMU Journalism: “This gives parents the chance to be in a comfortable environment when having to deliver their sleeping baby. We feel that they should be away from other mothers who are delivering their healthy babies as this can be very traumatic. We also feel it is very important that they do not feel under pressure to put a time limit on how long they spend with their baby before they have to say goodbye.”

In January this year, Nicki teamed up with Nikki Abernethy, who lost her little boy Steven 42 weeks into her pregnancy in February 2013, through their mutual midwife and friend, Heather Lennox, at Arrowe Park to fundraise together.

The hospital has given the go-ahead to build the suite and builders are in the process of costing out the project.

In February last year, Nicki raised over £3,000 towards the suite and has generated more funds through various events since. She has a number of activities planned for the upcoming year, including a coffee morning in the Conference Centre at Arrowe Park, from 10am-12noon on Saturday February 28th in the hope that parents have been affected by a sleeping baby bereavement would like to meet other parents and take comfort in coming together as a group.

Auction shirts for the charity fundraiser. Pic by Nicki Almond

Auction shirts for the bereavement charity fundraiser. Pic by Nicki Almond

The appeal is currently running an auction until April where people can bid on items, such as a family photo-shoot gift voucher, a 2013/14 signed Everton home shirt personally donated by Everton star Steven Naismith, a Jamie Carragher signed Liverpool shirt and autographed framed photographs from Blues squad members, such as Leighton Baines and James McCarthy.

Nicki says she has nothing but praise for the Maternity Unit at the hospital, telling JMU Journalism: “We would like to praise all the midwives on the unit for their help, however we would like to single out our midwife Heather Lennox who has backed this appeal from the start and is very much involved with development of the bereavement suite.

“Our aim is to build the suite and make sure that any parent who has to experience what we have are made to feel comfortable and be able to spend as much precious time with their baby.”

About Rebecca Cookson, JMU Journalism