Laura Kirby Deacon knows only too well the heartache that parents of stillborn children go through after losing her baby when she was 32 weeks pregnant, The nurse, who works in the Great Western Hospital intensive care unit, is helping to raise funds for a bereavement suite in the maternity unit of GWH after losing her daughter, Iashia Kirby Deacon, last December.
The 36-year-old, who is now 31 weeks pregnant, raised about £300 towards the £20,000 suite yesterday by holding a cake sale at the hospital.
“With stillbirth you have to deliver the baby, which is why we want the bereavement suite,” she said.
“I was up in Hazel Ward and I was among women having babies and normal deliveries – you are still caught up in that. “A bereavement suite would be somewhere for parents of stillborn children to go. It will be a nice and quiet place.”
Swindon Sands, which offers support to bereaved parents in Swindon and the surrounding area, is fundraising for the bereavement centre. The group was founded in 2008 and is run by parents who have lost a baby.
Laura said: “Sands have been a fantastic support. I went to my first meeting in January and they have been great.”
Kind people baked and donated cakes for the cake sale yesterday and Laura said she could not believe how many people wanted to get involved.
She was given donations of fairy cakes, muffins, rocky road biscuits, lemon drizzle cake and Christmas pudding.
“I had put posters up around the hospital and promoted it through Sands as well,” she said.
“I was overwhelmed by the response. We have had absolutely bucket loads of cakes. I feel very honoured. It is at times like this you realise who your real friends are and who is out there to support you.”
Laura, who is set to go on maternity leave next week, does not yet know whether she is having a boy or a girl but is due to give birth in January.
For more information about Swindon Sands or to help fundraise for the bereavement centre visit www.swindonsands.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.