A COT which gives parents more precious hours with their stillborn babies has been delivered to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The “cold cot” keeps the babies cold, preserving them, so that families can spend time with them before they leave the ward.
Charity 4Louis raised the £1,200 needed to pay for the cot after its founders went through the same trauma.
Kirsty McGurrell, 23, lost her first son Louis to stillbirth just short of his due date in 2009.
She said: “Stillborn babies deteriorate quickly. When I had Louis he had to be kept in a fridge overnight and when we took him home for a bit we had to make sure the house was kept cold.
“Hospitals don’t budget for these cold cots. They don’t tend to recognise that it happens often.
“In fact, nationally, there are 17 stillbirths or neo-natal deaths a day.”
Since Louis died, Kirsty and her family have worked to reach out to others affected by stillbirth and as well as providing a support network, they create keepsake boxes which are in scores of hospitals across the country.
They have also inspired a number of spin-off charities for people affected by other early deaths, such as miscarriage and cot death.
The cot will be used as part of a bereavement room that the charity has set up at the maternity ward.
Kirsty, who is mum to Mitchell, one, said: “We felt it was something that was lacking at Sunderland Royal Hospital. It gives families that little bit longer with their baby.
“Before you say your final goodbye there’s a switch to warm the baby up for a cuddle. We feel strongly about anything that can be of comfort at such a horrendous time in your life.”