Parents who lost baby at 24 weeks pregnant reveal ambitious plans for new clinic
PUBLISHED: 11:12 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 07 December 2019
A couple who lost their baby girl at 24 weeks pregnant have revealed an ambitious project to prevent other parents going through the same heartache.
Earlier this year, Jason and Ashleigh Hunt, of Swan Road, Dereham, faced devastation when they were told at 24 weeks and five days pregnant that their baby girl Maddison no longer had a heartbeat.
Ever since this life-changing event, the pair have turned tragedy into hope - vowing to support others experiencing the same pain.
From this, the charity Maddison's Movement was born and more than £11,000 was raised this year for a new bereavement suite at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH). Now the husband and wife team are focusing on their next big fundraising goal.
Mrs Hunt took to Facebook to explain to their followers what they had been doing since the Meadow Suite officially opened.
In a post shared online, she said: "In all honesty we've put the fundraising aside for a few months and focused on getting back to work in new routines and spending our down time on ourselves.
"During this time we announced that the bereavement suite is officially open and collectively we managed to raise a total of £11,397 for the construction. Thank you to every single one of you that has donated, helped organise events, attended and helped speak out on our behalf. We will forever be grateful. Now it's time for the next goal.
"Preventing stillbirth is going to take years of hard work, research, data collection, trial and money. But where we can, we are aiming to start small to benefit our county in providing better maternity care at the NNUH to detect warning signs in pregnant women."
After speaking with a consultant obstetrician at the hospital, it has been agreed to support the couple's idea of raising money for a clinic run by midwives trained to perform Doppler scans on women entering their third trimester for detection of abnormalities relating to the babies blood flow.
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Currently this clinic is only held during evenings due to facilities and timing constraints, meaning it is inaccessible to those who may need it.
In Ashleigh's words...
In April this year, Jason and Ashleigh Hunt were told at 24 weeks and five days pregnant that their baby girl no longer had a heartbeat. Shortly after the loss of their daughter, Maddison's Movement was created with the aim of breaking down the stigma surrounding baby loss.
Mrs Hunt, 27, said: "About a month after losing her, we found ourselves asking so many questions as any parent following the loss of a baby would.
"One of those questions was how can we possibly parent a child that is no longer here? Our love for her is unconditional and we want to be proud of her existence the same way we would have, had things turned out differently.
"Our story reached hundreds of people in a very short space of time because so many couples have experienced the loss of a baby, whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. And if they haven't experienced it themselves, you can guarantee they know of someone close to them that has.
"More often than not, parents usually blame themselves and conceal their grief for fear of shame or embarrassment which creates a society that shy's away from talking openly about their baby they still love and care so much for."