Couple who suffered stillbirth tragedy raise money for other bereaved parents

A couple whose son was stillborn has been selflessly fundraising to support other bereaved parents who use maternity services at Walsall Manor Hospital.

Hudson James Rubenis was born weighing six pounds and nine ounces in September 2021 after his mum Laura Wilkes and dad Dan Rubenis had been told that he had sadly died a few days earlier.

Laura’s pregnancy had progressed well with no problems but she had contacted maternity triage after being concerned that she hadn’t felt the baby move.

“He had always been quite energetic so this was a sudden change that worried me. It was just intuition for me that something might be wrong and I ended up coming into the hospital for a scan where it was confirmed that there was no longer any heartbeat.

“He was perfect when he was born; he had really beautiful lips and we couldn’t get over how long he was, as we’re not the tallest parents.

“We spent five days with Hudson, doing all the things we would have been doing if things hadn’t turned out as they did. So we bathed him, talked to him, sang to him and held him. We couldn’t stop cuddling and kissing him.”

Dan, a garage door fitter, said: “We were just cocooned together really, in our own little world, making memories. The hospital staff were amazing, letting us take as much time as we needed and supporting us throughout.

The couple, who live in Staffordshire, continued to be supported by Walsall Healthcare’s Specialist Bereavement Midwife Laura Atkinson, which they found comforting. And as they started to talk about their loss with friends and family they decided to raise funds to help others.

Dan set up a GoFundMe page and people soon supported the cause, with one friend running half a marathon. They managed enough to buy a new CuddleCot and help with the refurbishment of a bereavement room for other parents.

Laura added: “The fundraising has definitely helped us while we grieve for Hudson and the little plaque on it means others will see his name and know he was a very special little boy.”

Laura Atkinson from the hospital added: “This means the trust now has its full complement of CuddleCots – one each in the delivery suite, neonatal and gynaecology. We are so grateful as maternity bereavement services rely on charities and fundraising which many people don’t realise.”

Link to full article on Express & Star

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