The Kent baby loss charity Abigail’s Footsteps has donated an Abi Cooling Cot to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in memory Delilah.
Families who suffer the tragedy of stillbirth will be able to spend precious time with their baby at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough thanks to an ‘Abi Cooling Cot’ donated by the charity Abigail’s Footsteps.
The special cot was purchased with funds raised by the family and friends of Greig and Rebecca whose little girl Delilah was stillborn at 36 weeks in April 2022.
Delilah’s father Greig said, “It was not until we were living this nightmare that we realised just how many families are affected by stillbirth in the UK every year.”
Greig and Rebecca were fortunate that their hospital had a cold cot which enabled them to spend as much time as they needed with Delilah before they said goodbye. They were determined to help other grieving parents by fundraising for a Abi Cooling Cot for a hospital that did not already have this vital equipment.
Greig, Rebecca and their families collectively walked or ran 150km at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough to raise £2,800 allowing them to donate an Abi Cooling Cot to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in memory of Delilah.
Greg and Rebecca said, “We are truly grateful that we are able to support families going through incredibly difficult times like we did and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated in memory of Delilah. Our families walked or ran 150km in December last year to raise funds and it has truly gone to a worthwhile cause. We’d also like to thank Abigail’s Footsteps who have been so helpful and provide a great platform to make this possible”.
Tracy Pickersgill, Bereavement Midwife at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, said: “I would like to say a special thank you to Delilah Ann Hothersall’s family who fundraised and donated a state-of-the-art cooling cot for our bereavement suite.”
David Ward, Chief Executive, Abigail’s Footsteps, said, “Abigail’s Footsteps is committed to providing an Abi Cooling Cot to every hospital across the UK. Each special cot costs £2,900 and thanks to the generosity of those who fundraise for us we are delighted to have been able to donate over 120 cots to help bereaved families.”
There were 2,597 stillbirths in England and Wales in 2021. This is a 9.5% increase compared with 2020 and similar to the 2,522 stillbirths seen pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2019. The stillbirth rate increased to 4.1 stillbirths per 1,000 total births in 2021, from 3.8 in 2020.
About the Abi Cooling Cot
Donations allow Abigail’s Footsteps to distribute Abi Cooling cots to hospitals across the country. The Abi Cooling Cot keeps the baby at a cooler temperature meaning that the child can stay with their parents for longer, giving families the chance to grieve and say goodbye in their own time.
The Abi Cot is produced by The Bond Group who are based in Sheerness, Kent and every donated cold cot includes an engraved plaque, in memory of a family’s loss.
About Abigail’s Footsteps
Abigail’s Footsteps is a Kent based baby loss charity providing support and counselling for bereaved parents and families as well as specialist bereavement training for midwives and healthcare professionals.
The charity was founded by parents Jo and David Ward following the death of their daughter Abigail Ward who was stillborn at 41 weeks.
Since 2010, they charity has worked to improve the way bereaved parents are cared for by hospitals and to better educate midwives about how to care for grieving parents. Sadly, stillbirths occur daily, yet many hospitals are not equipped to deal with the parental care required.
By working with medical professionals to understand the issues and seek solutions Abigail’s Footsteps has helped many families across the UK.