Former midwife helps bereaved parents through keepsake service

James and Kristina Shulver with their son Harley (2) and Theresa McGrath. Picture: Ian Burt

James and Kristina Shulver with their son Harley (2) and Theresa McGrath. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A former west Norfolk midwife who had to give up her career is now dedicating her time to helping bereaved parents cope with the loss of a child.

Theresa Ann McGrath, of Heacham, worked for the NHS for 30 years, 26 as a midwife, but had to accept had to accept medical retirement due to an ongoing joint problems.

'I felt it was time to realise a dream I have long had and decided to start the charity Theresa's Tiny Treasures,' said the 49-year-old.

The charity offers families mementoes and keepsakes to help remember their baby including photographs, angel charms, hand and footprints onto ceramic, button art and teddy bears.

Kristina and James Shulver, of Southery near Downham Market, were the first to use Mrs McGrath's services when they were told their baby Georgianna had an irreparable heart condition and she was born at 21 weeks gestation.

The 27-year-old farm contractor found the charity on Facebook when the couple, who have a two-year-old son called Harley, were looking for help for local baby bereavement services.

He added the pair were most 'frightened' about how Georgianna, who was delivered at 21 weeks old, and Mrs McGrath, who has become a family friend, helped them prepare for what was to come before she was delivered.

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'We knew she was a midwife but was there in the capacity as a friend as much as anything and had all the time in the world for us,' said the father.

The couple donated a 'cuddle cot' to the charity which helps preserve babies so their families can be with them for longer. The cot was first used on the Georgianna's due date on February 13.

Mrs McGrath, a mother of five, added: 'It's about taking into account the baby is part of the family and that the woman is a mum and she has been pregnant.'

To find out more visit www.theresastinytreasures.co.uk or search the charity on Facebook.

Have you got a story about fulfilling a passion? Email sophie.biddle@archant.co.uk

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