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Kent couple raise £10,000 for bereavement suite QEQM Hospital

By Marijke Hall

A couple who tragically lost their baby at birth have raised more than £10,000 towards a hospital bereavement suite for grieving parents.

Adrian and Gillian Child, from Herne Bay, have been holding fundraising events ever since baby Remy was stillborn in May 2015, with the latest being a gruelling 100-mile bike ride around the county.

The Ride4Remy challenge raised more than £850.

Adrian and Gillian Child with children Jensen, Milo and Hallie
Adrian and Gillian Child with children Jensen, Milo and Hallie

Mrs Child says all the money is helping to pay for a dedicated suite at the QEQM Hospital in Margate where parents can stay after losing babies, instead of being put on a normal maternity ward.

It will have sound-proofed walls to ensure heartbroken mums and dads are not exposed to the sound of crying babies and families celebrating nearby.

The suite will also have a separate exit and entrance to the maternity department.

The £108,000 unit, run by the East Kent Hospitals Charity: Precious Memories, is almost complete and due to open in October, but the couple say they will continue to raise money for the upkeep of the facility.

“It’s not funded through the normal NHS route,” said Mrs Child, of Hunters Forstal Road in Broomfield.

“It is through charitable donations, so it’s important to keep raising money.”

Participants, including Adrian, third from left, in the 100-mile Ride4Remy challenge
Participants, including Adrian, third from left, in the 100-mile Ride4Remy challenge

The 35-year-old, who has three children, Hallie, 11, Jensen, four, and Milo, one, with husband Adrian, 35, lost baby Remy in the early stages of labour at 40 weeks.

He died due to two knots in the umbilical cord which became tighter when labour began.

“It was a horrific experience and I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that, but unfortunately women do,” she said.

“The trauma of such an ordeal is only made worse when you have to deliver your baby within the daily hustle and bustle of a busy maternity ward.

“When I had Remy there wasn’t a bereavement suite so I was next door to people having babies who were alive.

“You have to use the same entrance and exit, so you walk through the wards without having anybody but your husband next to you.”

"It was a horrific experience and I wouldn't want anyone to go through that, but unfortunately women do" - Gillian Child

Mrs Child says money from Sunday’s bike ride, which started and ended at the pier, is still coming in and will go directly to Precious Memories.

“We’ve raised £10,100 in total, but will continue fundraising, ” she added.

Victoria Adley, fundraising and development officer at East Kent Hospitals Charity, says the suite is almost ready, with hopes of opening next month.

“We have had some fantastic support from fundraisers and the local community,” she said.

“Gillian and Adrian Child in particular have raised thousands of pounds for this project.

“Looking to the future, we will need to keep fundraising. Staff from the maternity unit would like to create a garden area at the side of the suite.”

  • To donate to Ride4Remy, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Adrian-Child2

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