25th Mar, 2019

Parents make 'cuddle blankets' to help other bereaved families

Sarah Mason 12th Mar, 2019 Updated: 12th Mar, 2019

AFTER saying two of the hardest goodbyes a Solihull couple has decided to create a cuddle blanket to help other parents with their loss in their children’s memory.

Parents Mike and Trisha White, from Hillfields, were left ‘heartbroken, devastated and shattered’ when their son Teddy was stillborn in May 2017 at 21 weeks.

And Rose, their daughter’s, heart stopped when she was being born a week overdue in September last year.

After distressing births at the Eden Suite, a specialist unit for stillborn children at the Heartlands Hospital, the couple have devoted themselves to supporting parents during their time in need.

Following their children’s deaths the pair started raising funds and were going to donate them to the Eden Suite to say thank you for the help they gave them.

But in a light-bulb moment Mike and Trisha decided to set up a foundation to make blankets for babies and their families.

Mike said: “Whenever Trisha was pregnant we would always go and buy a soft white blanket following the 20-week scan as we never knew what we were going to have.

“When Teddy was born he was wrapped in his blanket.

“At the point of going home, Trisha asked me to get some scissors from the midwives and cut his blanket in two as a physical reminder of him now we were no longer able to cuddle him.

“Then she did exactly the same when we had to say our final goodbye to Rose in the Eden Suite.”

Trisha now sleeps with the blankets every night, and they’re something the couple’s other children – Lily, Harry, Henry and Poppy- also benefit from, as a physical reminder of their siblings.

Armed with a stack of blankets, Trisha has spent the past three weeks adapting them by cutting them in half and neatly sewing up each edge and tying them together ready to hand out to parents.

Mike said Trisha has adapted almost 100 so far.

They have been handed to the Eden Suite, University Hospital Coventry, Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital and Birmingham City Hospital.

Clare Beesley, bereavement midwife at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “When a baby dies families have to try to make a lifetime of memories in a short space of time, so having physical reminders of their baby to hold on to can really bring comfort to grieving families.

“What the TeddyRose Foundation have done is something really special.

“One blanket in two parts, one for their baby to be cuddled in and the other for families to hold onto, will really make a difference.

“What makes this so special is bereaved families reaching out to support others to let them know they are not alone.

“We are very grateful to Trisha and Mike for providing these blankets to our bereavement units.”

Mike said they are not yet a registered charity but hopes to be able to get that status.

For more or to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teddyrose

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