Half marathon in memory of baby Frank

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) and a time for bereaved parents, and their families and friends to support each other and remember their babies’ lives.

Among those supporting the awareness week are Collette and Justin Goddard whose son Frank Jake was sadly born too early to survive on 24 October last year, weighing a tiny 110g, when Collette was 20 weeks plus 4 days pregnant.

Since then, the couple have been raising money to support the work of our baby bereavement team and on Sunday, Justin took part in the Thetford High Lodge Half Marathon, smashing his £500 target.

The couple said: “This money will go towards maintaining and improving a specific bereavement room, a quiet and private place for parents to deliver their precious, born sleeping babies and receive the support they need.”

You can still donate to Justin’s fundraising page here.

Our maternity department is supported by two bereavement midwives, Suzy Hankinson and Davina Bowen, who are involved in care after 18 weeks of pregnancy. They support staff providing clinical care while supporting families following pregnancy and baby loss while on delivery suite, and postnatally in the weeks following their bereavement. On delivery suite there is a dedicated bereavement suite which provides a safe space for families to stay in for as long as required. This enables families to spend time with their baby and make memories in the short time they have.

Suzy said: “The care provided following loss directly impacts families; how they cope as their world has shifted on its axis. Being able to provide dedicated time and space for these families affects every day of the rest of their lives and they get comfort having a dedicated contact available to help them through the mire of baby loss.  It is a genuine privilege working in this role, seeing the difference we can make and supporting these families through subsequent pregnancies should they decide to walk that path again.”

For more information about how you can support the team, contact charity@nnuh.nhs.uk

Throughout the week there will be a tree of remembrance in the hospital Chapel garden for anyone who has experienced baby loss. People are welcome to drop by for a quiet moment of reflection.