A couple who were helped through the heartache of losing their baby daughter are to help support other parents through the same traumatic experience.
Steph Archbold and Phil Capewell, from Southwick, lost their daughter Amelia when she was just 12 minutes old after she was born at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Steph, 25, an adult social worker, and Phil, 29, a Nissan worker, had been told at their 20-week scan that Amelia had a series of conditions and would not survive,.
But the couple decided to go on with the pregnancy and spend as much time as they could with their girl.
They were supported by the Washington-based 4Louis charity, with the couple donating £2,970 to fund its memory box project through a funday and a series of other efforts, with another £95 on its way to the organisation thanks to a recent cake sale.
Their own memory box helped them gather mementoes including footprints and a camera so they could capture photos to keep.
Now the couple has gifted a further amount of more than £650 collected through a family funday at Fulwell Methodist Church to the hospital’s maternity unit to help it with its wish list of items to help families.
We can’t thank Steph enough for this very generous donation.Janet Griffin
When Steph arrived to present the funds, she was surprised as the team at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in turn decided to recognise her for her dedication to help others.
Janet Griffin, directorate manager for obstetrics and gynaecology at the trust, said: “We can’t thank Steph enough for this very generous donation.
“Losing a baby is a devastating time for families and for the team here at the maternity unit. “The work that Steph and her family have done to help other mums and babies and to preserve Amelia’s memory is incredible and is so very much appreciated by everyone here at City Hospitals Sunderland.”
Steph, who is originally from South Shields, said: “We wanted to do something because they were amazing when we had Amelia and that wasn’t just in the delivery suite, it was right the way through.
“We can’t thank them enough for the kind of experience we had, because we knew what was happening, but they found the positives.
“When we went for scans, it wasn’t just finding things that were wrong, they would say look at her hands and feet, look at her face.
“We knew nothing could be done for Amelia, but the quality of time we had with her, they knew that was important.”
She added Dr Helen Cameron, her consultant, Janette Johnson, who helps lead the unit, and the team of midwives had given her a great deal of comfort through their experience, answering questions and giving them all the time she and Phil needed with Amelia after her birth.