While the grief and heartbreak that comes with losing a baby is unimaginable, an Enniscorthy couple decided to plunge all their efforts into helping parents in a similar situation as they set about raising funds for a brand new cuddle cot for Wexford General Hospital.
Sinead French from Davidstown and her partner Finbar Nolan from Castledockrell noticed there was a shortage of these specialised cuddle cots at Wexford General when they tragically lost their baby Dawn back in June.
Owing to the specialised piece of equipment, Sinead and Finbar were able to take little Dawn home to be waked out and to spend a couple of days with them before saying goodbye.
'Everything was grand in the build-up,' Sinead said. 'I was at 39 weeks and four days and all the scans were fine.'
Tragically, however, things took a turn and baby Dawn was stillborn.
'We were given the cuddle cot so that we could bring her home, and spend a couple of days with her,' Sinead explained. 'It was great to have that. At the time though, I remember thinking that if anybody else was in the same position, they might not have got that because they were short on cuddle cots.'
From that moment, Sinead and Finbar decided to throw themselves into fundraising to purchase another cuddle cot for the hospital. A specialised piece of equipment, they can only be purchased from England at a cost of over €3,000. Initially, the pair set up a Facebook page for donations and saw a great amount of support from family and friends with nearly €2,000 coming in in a short period of time.
Following this, the idea to host a 5km run in Castledockrell came about through Sinead's brother Declan and his partner Melanie. The run took place at the end of September and they were blown away by the support they received from the local community.
'We had a great turnout,' Sinead said. 'People were so good to us. Both our families, our friends, they all did whatever they could to help us out. To be honest, I found, after everything, it was great to get involved and get proactive about something. It put us in a different place and it really got us both through it.'
Sinead and Finbar gathered with their families at Wexford General recently where they were delighted to hand over a brand new cuddle cot and a cheque for €5,900 to Aileen Kehoe, the midwife who had delivered Dawn back in June. While the hospital initially only had one cuddle cot, the one donated by Dawn's family along with one donated by charity Beneath My Angels Wings recently now brings the total to three and Sinead and Finbar are hopeful that they can help provide some small measure of comfort to other parents left in a similar heartbreaking position.