Grieving Wigan family fund-raises for cold cots to help other victims of stillbirths

A Wigan family tragically learned how valuable cold cots can be following a stillbirth and now they are fund-raising for more to become available at our hospitals.

Jacob and Amber Grant, of Roby Mill heartbreakingly lost their first child when she was born asleep at 24 weeks.

Midwives at Wigan, Leigh and Bolton hospitals were extremely supportive during this time and the family were fortunate enough to make use of a cold cot, allowing them to take their daughter Blueberry home to meet family.

It was an opportunity that many parents aren’t able to take.

The team of fundraisers during the march up Mount Hellvelyn

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Shockingly 13 babies a day arrive stillborn and the family hope that with fund-raising and awareness cold cots can be put to use in more local hospitals.

This number only accounts for babies that are 24 weeks or older, with babies younger than that deemed to be a miscarriage, with a cold cot not being offered in these circumstances.

The Grants are hugely appreciative that this service was made available to them as the 24 hours they spent with Blueberry – whose name stemmed from a younger family member discussing the size of her while studying a babyscan - made a huge emotional difference.

The shirts worn during the fund-raising event.

Now they want to make a difference themselves for any parents who may experience a tragedy like this in the future and have turned their grief into positive action.

Jacob’s mum Michelle said: “Other families don’t have access to these facilities, it’s heartbreaking.

"We would like for this service to be available to everyone in their time of need.”

They kick-started their campaign by hiking up Helvellyn in the Lake District as an extended family including grandparents and family pets.

A cold cot, which can preserve a stillborn baby's body and allow the parents to spend time with them after birth

They all wore shirts produced for the occasion with a message reading “In memory of Blueberry”.

They raised awareness for their fund-raiser throughsocial media, word of mouth and events at schools and nurseries that the young members of the family attend.

Those who could not be at the march have been knitting premature baby clothing that are to be donated to hospitals so that families are given the opportunity to dress their babies.

With over £5,000 raised in donations already they are able to donate a cuddle cot (as they are also known) to each of Wigan, Leigh and Bolton hospitals.

At £1,700 a piece, they are expensive equipment but for families could prove priceless in such challenging times.

Further donations would go towards providing the hospitals more materials in order to produce hand or footprints of the babies, helping create memories in such a short space of time.

The family hope to raise awareness for not only the shocking regularity of stillbirths each day but also the lack of facilities available to families during this time.

Midwives in Manchester have also been fund-raising following their realisation of the limited availabiltity of the necessary equipment.

Further money-spinning events are planned, including a triathlon in September and a white collar boxing event scheduled for the autumn.

Further information on future events can be found on the family’s page linked below.