A heartbroken couple who lost their treasured baby daughter when she was just hours old are fundraising in her memory to help other families.
Rosie Jo Tennick, from Thurcroft, near Rotherham, was born with a severe form of brittle bone disease, called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and died when she was just 28 hours old.
Her parents Joanne, aged 29, and Jonathan, 32, along with her older sister Pippa, one, were able to spend ten precious days with Rosie in a special facility at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice before her funeral was held.
Now the couple want to raise £5,000 in Rosie’s memory to put towards an extension of the room at the hospice to help other families in similar circumstances.
Joanne, a midwifery support worker at Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop, said: “Rosie changed our lives in those hours she was with us and because of Rosie, our hearts will be that much fuller and our lives that much more enriched for having her join our family.
“It meant so much to be able to be with her at Bluebell Wood until we had to say our final farewell.
“They looked after us and Rosie just beautifully and helped us create such amazing memories and keepsakes with her. We were able to hold her and kiss her until the day we said goodbye.
“That is why we have chosen to fundraise for them in Rosie’s memory.
“They wish to extend the room we stayed in, ‘Snowdrop,’ to enable babies to be in the same suite rather than across the corridor in a separate room.
“What we had was incredible, but this would be even better, so this is why we are fundraising.”
Joanne and Jonathan discovered Rosie was not developing properly during a 16-week routine scan. Her chest was small so her lungs were not able to develop properly, and doctors initially thought she had thanataphoric dysplasia, a severe skeletal disorder.
The couple decided to continue with the pregnancy, but prepared themselves for their baby not to make it.
Joanne gave birth to Rosie via c-section at the Jessop Wing at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital on September 16, weighing just 4lb 10oz.
She said: “As soon as I saw her I just burst into tears. She was looking directly at me and held my finger as soon as I put it in her hand. “She seemed to be doing so well, she was ventilated but on minimal oxygen and her sats (blood oxygen levels) were really good.”
The following day, Rosie was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. After doctors told Joanne and Jonathan there was little they could do, the devastated couple made the decision to remove her ventilation. Joanne added: “From that moment we had Rosie out of the incubator and cuddled, kissed and loved her while she was still with us.
“Those few hours are the most precious of my life and I will treasure them forever.”
The couple spent 10 days at the hospice with Rosie, and other family members also visited.
“We didn’t know the room existed until a doctor told us about it at Jessops. It was brilliant. We could just hold her and be with her,” added Joanne.
“They looked after us so well. It was like a home from home.”
Rosie’s fundraising page has already raised more than £2,000 with donations coming from family and friends.
The couple are now planning Rosie’s Love Ball at The Consort Hotel, in Thurcroft on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
The event will feature a three course meal, live music and a raffle and auction.
Anyone who can help with prizes should visit facebook.com/Warriorprincessrosie or email Joanne at firstname.lastname@example.org