A family bereavement room has been given a much needed makeover thanks to patients and support groups who teamed up to turn a vision into reality.
Former patient Kelly Silk joined forces with Victoria Usher from the 4Louis charity and Lauren Wearmouth, Helen Largan and Nicole Kirby from Still Parents Teesside to improve the Roseberry Suite which is situated near the neonatal unit at The James Cook University Hospital.
Kelly said: “I suffered the heartbreak of losing my little boy at 33 weeks pregnant. I spent a few days in the Roseberry Suite spending precious time with my little boy.
“After doing a fundraising night in memory of Freddie we donated £2,200 to 4Louis but I asked them if this money could go back into the hospital. I felt that it was important the room felt more comfortable and homely.”
Victoria said: “We had already been discussing how we could help renovate the Roseberry Suite when Kelly started fundraising. She raised an amazing amount and was able to fund a large proportion of the work and furnishings herself thanks to her family and friends’ support.
“The Roseberry Suite’s refurbishment will allow families to spend private time with their little one in a comfortable, homely environment, helping them creating special memories in a non-clinical environment.”
Lauren said: “I was 23 when my son Noah was stillborn. Although the room is close to my heart as it was where I spent time with my son, it was dated and seemed more clinical than homely.
“Members from Still Parents Teesside agreed to fund a few items which would make the room more homely such as decor touches, a radio, a TV, a microwave and fridge – all with the aim of making people’s stay in that room as comfortable as possible and to prolong the time they got to spend in there as a family.
“It is like a different room now – the effort that has gone into it will enable future bereaved families to be comfortable at one of the hardest times in their lives.”
Helen added: “I lost Jacob in November 2011. The memories we have of time spent with Jacob are so very precious and I believe it is so important for this time to be spent in as comfortable a setting as possible.
“The room now has a much more homely feel and will be priceless to future bereaved families while they are making memories with their babies.”
Still Parents Teesside holds a monthly support group meeting every second Tuesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm at Acklam Green Centre in Middlesbrough.