A MUM left devastated by miscarriage is giving hope and friendship to others affected by the trauma.
After losing her first child at 13 weeks into her pregnancy, Vicky Smith, 28, set up the 4Babybell charity which provides memory boxes for free to parents who’ve suffered a miscarriage.
Two years later, the boxes are supplied to 54 hospitals across the country, from Brighton to Wales, and the North East.
Vicky, from Red House, says miscarriage is often a taboo subject, but she hopes her memory boxes will encourage more people to share their experiences.
After feedback from people who’ve found comfort from them, she has added new items including a teddy bear, glass angel, candle and an acknowledgment of life certificate, among other items.
Vicky says son Jacob, 21 months, who she conceived after her miscarriage, is also giving hope to others.
“I don’t talk about Jacob straight away when parents have just lost, but further down the line he gives them hope,” said the school staff nurse at Keelman’s Way School, in Hebburn.
She added: “After a loss, pregnancy is really difficult. You think everything will be okay when you fall pregnant again, but it’s just the beginning of a rollercoaster. You always have that fear that you will miscarry again.”
Vicky was inspired to start her charity by 4Louis, which was set up by Houghton mum Kirsty McGurrell to help bereaved parents of stillborn babies.
Vicky said: “We get such positive feedback from parents who’ve received the boxes. They send emails and thank you letters. As a result of their feedback, we’ve developed the boxes.”
Like Kirsty’s charity, Vicky’s relies on fund-raising to pay for the contents of the boxes.
The next fund-raiser will take place tonight at The Corner Flag sports bar, in High Street West, Sunderland.
Music promoter Shaun Tate offered to stage the event for the charity, which will feature live musicians, including The Pursuit and B-Type, a quiz and raffles. The charity night starts at 7.30pm.