The bereavement room in the maternity department at St Helier Hospital has been declared officially open after a £20,000 refurbishment, thanks to the amazing efforts of a local couple who launched a fundraising campaign after losing their daughter, Hope.
In 2016, Hollie Perry and her partner Scott Eyre were told that their unborn daughter had Triploidy syndrome – a rare condition that meant Hope had an additional set of chromosomes and would be unlikely to survive for long. They made the heart-breaking decision to end the pregnancy, and although they have always sung the praises of the midwives and maternity staff, they recognised that the facilities available for families facing such a devastating time needed updating. They launched the Bearing Hope campaign with the aim of raising £20,000 to overhaul the room and, with the help of family and friends and a memorial event at St Helier in October, they exceeded their target.
After reaching their goal, Hollie and Scott, surrounded by loved ones and staff from the unit, cut the ribbon to the new room on Monday 6 August, which was also the two year anniversary of Hope’s birth. The newly refurbished room features softer lighting, new storage space and kitchenette (complete with fridge so bereaved parents don’t need to go onto the main ward as often), a reclining chair, and is beautifully decorated in shades of purple with white feathers and butterflies.
After the room was declared officially opened, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Hope at the time of her birth, before Hollie and Scott cut a specially-made Bearing Hope cake. The cake was generously donated by hospital catering company MITIE, while the ribbon was kindly donated by Buttercups, the florist in Rosehill.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, said: “We are so grateful to Hollie and Scott for sharing their story, and for launching a fundraising campaign for us during this incredibly difficult time. Nothing can take away the pain of losing a baby, but it is absolutely vital that we do everything we can to support families and individuals during these times – and our new bereavement room will help us to do just that.
“The memorial event (where we gathered on the green opposite St Helier to remember children and babies who have sadly passed away), clearly touched the hearts of hundreds of people and gave them an outlet for their grief. It was a very special evening which we hope to mark again, and coupled with the other fundraising done by Hollie, Scott and their family, has meant Hope has left an amazing legacy.”
After cutting the ribbon and declaring the new room officially open, Hollie said: “We are so pleased that something positive has come out of all of this, and to see the room finished and looking lovely. We did this to help others – it wasn’t about us, we did this for anyone else who might have to use this room in the future, so that they can be as comfortable as possible. It is nice to be able to give something back.”
Scott added: “I think this goes to show that with a bit of passion behind you, you can get the job done. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.”
Director of Midwifery Marion Louki said: “On behalf of the Trust, we would like to say a big thank you to Hollie and Scott for their incredible hard work and courage in supporting our hospitals to revamp and create a fully functional, beautiful and peaceful bereavement room. We would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped raise money and supported this cause.”