A family from Wigan have expressed their thanks to their local hospital Trust for commemorating Baby Loss Awareness Week following their fundraising efforts to help other families touched by tragedy.
Lindsay and Paul Stanton, 43, from Poolstock, visited Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Tree of Hope’ which would be lit up pink and blue during Baby Loss Awareness Week (9th – 15th October), with their two-year-old daughter, Olivia.
Lindsay, 37, said: “I gave birth to our son, Zak, on the 27th October 2015 and we stayed with him in the Pearl Suite.
“He was born at 20+5 weeks and he lived for three hours, dying in his daddy’s arms.
“We had the honour and privilege of being cared for by fantastic midwives who helped us weigh him, dress him, take prints of his hands and feet and also the services of the hospital chaplain who came to bless him.”
Being able to use the Pearl Suite meant the couple could dress Zak in a little knitted outfit that had been donated. It also meant their parents could come and meet him too.
Lindsay added: “As the suite is set up like a bedroom with a double bed, it meant that we could stay together overnight, especially since I’d also had some complications. Zak was born at 6.56pm and we said goodbye to him at 2am. The photos we took and the memory box that the hospital provided to us are all we have of him now and are one of our most prized possessions.”
Lindsay and Paul returned to Wigan for Olivia’s birth as they knew they would be in great hands.
Paul said: “It was also important to us for both children to be born in the same location. Our midwife, Gail, was aware of our previous history and was absolutely fantastic from start to finish, managing Olivia’s birth and our anxieties that came with that.
Since Zak passed away, Lindsay and Paul have since raised money for the Trust, to say thank you for the care they received.
The pair are currently running 27 miles in a month as part of the national charity, Aching Arms, ‘Miles in Memory’ campaign; 27 miles in recognition of their son’s birthday.
As well as the ‘Tree of Hope’ at the Trust’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary site being lit up, Lindsay has arrange for the ‘Face of Wigan’ to be lit up on Thursday which will coincide with the Wave of Light that takes place at the end of every Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Lindsay’s best friend, Tracy Ward, a Clinical Nurse Educator at WWL requested the lights be lit blue and pink. She said: “One in four pregnancies end in loss and many of these will be within our hospital walls. I wanted Lindsay and Paul, and our community, to know that we remember them.”
Paul said: “We are made up that the tree is being lit up pink and blue, it means a lot to us especially as it is at the RAEI. I lost my dad a couple of weeks ago and the bereavement team were amazing with me and my family; we’ve always been looked after at Wigan.”
Sarah Howard, Bereavement Midwife at WWL, said: “Baby Loss Awareness Week is an opportunity for parents, families and professionals to remember babies who died around the time or soon after birth.
“Supporting families across the borough at this difficult time, and in an exceptionally difficult year, in any way we can is a privilege.
“We hope the individuals and organisations across Wigan will join with us both in lighting up in blue and pink for Baby Loss Awareness Week and in the Wave of Light on Thursday.”
To join the global ‘Wave of Light’, simply light a candle at 7pm local time on 15 October and leave it burning for at least one hour.
For further information about Baby Loss Awareness Week visit: www.babyloss-awareness.org