31st May 2019
A devastated couple who suffered the heart-breaking loss of their baby girl have embarked on a fund-raising mission in a bid to raise funds to secure ‘cuddle cots’ in as many UK hospitals as possible in order to help other bereaved families.
Laura Duran-Smith, 31, from Westhead, Lancashire, was 26 weeks pregnant with daughter Isabella when she fell critically ill.
Sadly, after undergoing emergency life-saving surgery doctors were unable to save her unborn baby who was stillborn on 19th January, 2018 at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.
The distraught mum and her husband James have since launched the Bella Butterfly Foundation and a GoFundMe campaign and have raised enough money to buy a ‘cuddle cot’ - an innovative cot which prolongs the amount of time parents can spend with their stillborn infant - for the hospital where their daughter was born, in order to allow other parents to spend more time with their child before they say their final goodbyes.
They are now on a mission to raise as much awareness, and as much money as possible, to fund ‘cuddle cots’ in hospitals across the country.
Laura said, “The thought of never having that opportunity is just unbearable, and I want to ensure that no family who faces the devastation of a stillborn should go without.”
The campaign has now helped to secure a cuddle cot within Southport and Formby District General Hospital, with more donations arriving regularly.
Laura added, “Throughout all my raw grief and health problems I really just want to do something to help others in remembrance of our beautiful baby girl.
"Following my surgery I was on life support for three days, but because the hospital were able to source a cuddle cot from another location I was able to meet my beautiful baby and spend the time with her that I needed in order to grieve."
“We consider ourselves to be very lucky and privileged to have had access to a cuddle cot, and in an ideal world every hospital will have access to these in the future. It is our hope that the Bella Butterfly Foundation will go some way to making that happen.”
In addition to raising funds for cuddle cots, Laura is also raising funds to donate to Salford Hospital’s Intestinal Failure Unit and to the Colorectal Surgery department where she received treatment having lost the majority of her small bowel during the emergency surgery.
Following her ordeal, Laura has appointed specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors at Simpson Millar to investigate the events leading up to Isabella’s death.
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