Published: 09:25, 01 April 2019
| Updated: 14:28, 01 April 2019
A couple grieving the loss of their six-month-old baby hope to give other heartbroken families the gift of time after raising funds for a cuddle cot.
India Gibson and Jamie Hayes’ son Toby died last August while the family were on a canal boat holiday in Liverpool.
The parents, from Folkestone, had put Toby to bed while they stayed up playing card games, and checked on him regularly.
Scroll down to hear from Toby's mum
But at midnight when India turned in for the night she knew instantly that something was not right.
The couple called an ambulance and were rushed to hospital, but sadly nothing could be done to save Toby.
A post mortem revealed he died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is an unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.
Being miles from home, India and Jamie discovered it was going to cost £500 to get Toby back to Folkestone. A Go Fund Me page was set up to help cover the costs.
Within three hours donations of over £2,000 came in.
India, 25, said: “The generosity of friends and family at such a difficult time was overwhelming, with donations coming in from people all over the world - allowing us to bring our little boy home.”
Another donation came in the form of a cuddle cot, gifted from stillborn and neonatal loss charity Cariad Angel Gowns.
India said: “The last thing we ever thought we would be doing is planning our six-month-old baby's funeral.
"We were able to spend some precious extra time with Toby thanks to the use of a cuddle cot.
“It really helped with our grieving process and we wanted to use the extra money donated to us to purchase and gift cuddle cots to funeral branches.”
The cuddle cot system uses a cooling mechanism to maintain a baby’s condition after they have died and can be taken away and used at home.
India and Jamie, 32, have now raised almost £10,000 through their online charity page. They have purchased two cots so far and presented one to Sterry Funeral Service on what would have been Toby’s first birthday - February 13.
It will be shared between the company’s Folkestone and Hythe branches.
“Our wish is for other parents experiencing loss to have a chance to spend more time with their baby, give them love and make memories before saying goodbye,” said India.
Funeral director Clive Sterry said: “We really appreciate this kind donation. By having our own cuddle cot we can offer families the gift of extra time with their baby.”
The couple are still fundraising at uk.gofundme.com/tobyscuddlecot and hope to be able to buy more cots in the future.
More by this authorSam Williams