PARENTS who have faced the trauma of miscarriage are being offered help with their grief.
Following the success of her idea to install memory boxes in hospitals for families affected by stillbirths, Houghton mum Kirsty McGurrell has decided to extend the idea to those grief-stricken by miscarriage.
Sunderland Royal Hospital’s gynaecology ward has taken its first delivery of the boxes, which contains items such as a teddy, candle and guardian angel.
Kirsty, 22, launched the 4louis charity after her first son Louis was stillborn and keepsake boxes made through the project have since been delivered to hospitals around the country.
The mum-of-one, who gave birth to Mitchell earlier this year, said: “A lot of mums contacted us through our Facebook site saying that they had suffered early miscarriages but that there was nothing like the keepsake boxes on the wards.
“It’s about acknowledging that the mum was pregnant. We have had some good feedback from people, they say they wish something like this was available when they had their miscarriages.”
If a woman loses a baby before 24 weeks, it is classed as a miscarriage rather than a stillbirth.
Gynaecology ward manager Julie Johnson said: “I think it’s a fabulous idea.
“Early miscarriage has been neglected in terms of support for so many years.
“People don’t always recognise that there has been a life, but losing a child in the first trimester is just as hard as losing a baby in the third trimester.”
Kirsty and her family were left devastated when they lost baby Louis just days before his due date in December 2009.
Since then they have worked tirelessly to ensure that families who suffer the trauma of losing a child are given some support.
The 4Louis campaign has since become a registered charity and its keepsake boxes are in place in scores of hospitals around the country.
It has also inspired a number of sister charities, such as 4Alfie, set up by Town End Farm Kayleigh Solomon, which helps families traumatised by cot death.
• To learn more about the charity’s work visit www.4louis.co.uk