Bereaved mum calls for people to raise cash for Sheffield maternity hospital bereavement services

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A bereaved mum is calling on runners to pound the streets for Sheffield Hospitals Charity to help fund vital support for parents like her who have lost new born children.

Carol Simpson, aged 40, from Oughtibridge was devastated when a prenatal scan revealed complications with her baby’s heart and lungs, causing her daughter to pass away just hours after she was born.

Carol has been actively fundraising for the Jessop Wing Hospital ever since - her next mission is to don a Peppa Pig costume for a 10K run in memory of her daughter, Hollie Maisie Simpson.

Carol said: “My husband, Mark and I were thrilled when we found out I was expecting our second child. It was all going well, but at 32 weeks I didn’t feel well and I seemed to be getting very large too quickly.

“After an appointment with the community midwife we were referred to Jessops for a scan, which revealed a possible heart defect, excessive amniotic fluid and bilateral pleural effusion, which is a condition whereby excess fluid builds around the lung, plus further complications. We were given the heart breaking news that our baby was very poorly.

“Our baby was monitored every day. During this time we asked for the gender of our baby and were delighted to be told we were having another daughter, who we named Hollie.

“However the problem worsened and I was admitted to the Jessop Wing at 33 weeks, where Hollie was delivered by Caesarean Section just a week later. Sadly, our beautiful daughter passed away in my husband’s arms shortly after.

“We had to face the devastating fact that we would not be taking our little girl home to join our family, as we had done two years earlier with her big sister Katie. Despite this, we were told we could spend a wonderful 24 hours with her, where she could be held and cuddled constantly and the rest of her family could meet her. This made this deeply sad experience a little easier for us.

“Throughout this awful time, the care and attention we received from the staff at the Jessop Wing was fantastic. We were massively supported through this dreadful experience and we cannot thank them enough for everything they did for us. Just some of the little touches, like taking Hollie’s foot and hand print and the visit from the Hospital Chaplin who named and blessed Hollie, meant so much to us.

“Shortly after, we decided we were going to raise some funds to help improve the private room on the Jessop Wing to make it a more comfortable, quieter and peaceful environment for bereaved parents so they could spend a peaceful night with their baby. Due to the nature of the hospital, we could hear the sounds of ladies giving birth and new born babies crying. This meant the few precious hours we had with Hollie to make some memories were especially hard.

“Our fundraising journey began in September 2013, then, two years later, I had a call from Sheffield Hospitals Charity with great news. The money I had raised helped the project go ahead and the room has now been completed.

“Even so, I want to continue to raise funds, which is why I’m taking part in the Sheffield 10k. I thought that Hollie would have loved Peppa Pig, just like her two sisters and what better way to raise money in her memory than to dress up as Peppa Pig and run! My twin sister Jenny is also taking part as Peppa’s little brother, George! Although she was only with us for a short time, Hollie has touched all our lives forever.”The city’s debut 10k race will take place on Sunday October 30. Sheffield Hospitals Charity has places available. To sign up, or for more information, call 0114 2711351 or email charity@shct.nhs.uk

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