Carshalton couple aim to raise awareness in honour of stillborn daughter

A bereaved couple are hoping to raise £20,000 for St Helier Hospital in honour of their stillborn daughter.

Hollie Perry and her partner Scott, from Carshalton, tragically lost their baby daughter, Hope, on the 6th August 2016 at 23 weeks.

The money would fund a refurbished bereavement suite at the hospital which will allow bereaved parents to spend valuable time with their babies.

Hollie said: “A lot of people think, why? Why do you need a bereavement room?

“Imagine only being given a certain amount of time with a loved one, you wouldn’t really picture it in a hospital, so it just makes it a little bit easier, a bit softer, for the family.

“You only have that memory to look back on, you want less of a clinical environment, a more homely environment.”

In the bereavement room at St Helier Hospital, Hollie and Scott spent a night and a day with Hope, dressing her and taking ink prints of her hands and feet.

However, the room could do with soundproofing and more comfortable facilities – such as a bed for the dad – and Hollie and Scott wish to help other parents going through similar loss.

They are also raising awareness around baby loss which is a surprisingly common tragedy, with around one in 200 babies stillborn in the UK.

Hollie says: “There needs to be awareness but you don’t want it to be forced; I don’t want to stress out pregnant women.”

Hollie has spoken out in support of a charity called Count the Kicks which she believes is “literally saving lives” by making expectant mothers more conscious of their baby’s normal movements so they learn to tell when something is not right.

Because of the stigma and silence surrounding baby loss, Hollie found people were unintentionally insensitive when she was grieving, saying things such as “at least you know you can get pregnant.”

She adds: “If we spoke about it openly more people would know; If no-one talks about it you feel like no-one cares but they don’t know what to say.”

Talking of her own experience of heartache, Hollie said: “Of course you’re going to grieve and feel sad, but if you completely stop you end up spiralling down worse.”

If a couple decide to have another baby after a loss it’s known by midwives as a rainbow baby, because of the rainbow that comes after the storm.

Baby loss awareness week runs from the 9-15 October 2017, and you can donate to Hollie and Scott’s cause on Just Giving.

A baby loss awareness evening will be held at 7:00pm on Sunday 15th October outside St Helier Hospital, with more details on the Bearing Hope Facebook page.

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