News Staff October 5, 2018

The Sick Children’s Trust is joining leading children’s charities to raise awareness of baby loss and back the campaign to secure the support of MPs for the provision of better bereavement care.

Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place 9 to 15 October. During this time, families from all over the world commemorate the lives of their babies and share memories of the all too brief time they had together.

Organisations involved in Baby Loss Awareness Week provide support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby. Together, with health professionals and services, they are committed to raising awareness of pregnancy and baby loss.

One of these organisations is The Sick Children’s Trust, a nationwide charity that supports families in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation when they have a seriously ill child in the country’s leading paediatric hospitals. A number of the families supported by the charity have critically ill babies that require specialist care miles away from home. By giving them free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation just minutes from their baby the charity enables families to spend as much time as possible with their loved one, whilst, at the same time, offering practical and emotional support and easing financial burdens.

Gareth and Tracy Wood’s son Lewis was delivered by caesarean in December 2017 and it quickly became clear he was seriously ill. Doctors at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital made an immediate decision to transfer the newborn to the intensive care unit at Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle upon Tyne, 30 miles from the couple’s home. Following further tests, specialists identified multiple developmental problems with Lewis’ organs within his chest cavity.

Sadly his condition was too severe and, despite the doctors’ best efforts, Lewis passed away just four days later. However, during his short life his parents were given a room at Crawford House located at RVI and as a result were never more than a few moments from his side. Gareth, who has raised over £1,000 to thank The Sick Children’s Trust since Lewis’ death, says:
“I couldn’t believe such a place even existed. It was the first I’d heard of the charity and was exactly what I needed during the worst days of my life. The facilities were amazing and the staff in the house knew how to support me but, most importantly, it meant I was never more than a couple of minutes from my Lewis’ side.

“The Sick Children’s Trust allowed me to spend every possible second I could with my son during his short life. He will never be forgotten and we’re so grateful for the time we got to spend with him.”

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