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Camlough couple donate baby memory boxes to Daisy Hill hospital

July 21, 2014

By Christine Keighery

Camlough couple Kerri-Marie and John Boyle have donated 50 memory boxes to Daisy Hill Hospital’s maternity department.

Following the heartbreaking loss of their baby son Jude who was born at 23 weeks, the couple embarked on a fundraising campaign for the Lily Mae Foundation, a charity providing much needed support to parents and families who have lost a baby to Stillbirth or Neonatal Death. One of the initiatives of the charity has been to provide memory boxes to help parents build treasured memories of their baby which will last a lifetime.

By hosting a raffle, a sponsored walk and a poignant balloon release at Camlough Lake, in memory of babies who have passed away, the couple managed to raise £4,500 to fund the precious memory boxes from the Lily Mae Foundation. In addition to the 50 memory boxes donated to Daisy Hill Maternity Department, the Boyle’s donated a cheque for £1,600 to the Lily Mae Foundation as well as 50 memory boxes to the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital where they suffered the loss of baby Jude earlier this year.  The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast has also received 30 memory boxes from the fundraiser.

“Having gone through the traumatic experience of losing a baby we wanted to do something to help other families through such a devastating time” said Kerri-Marie.

“We took great comfort from our local community who came together to raise awareness of this issue and donated to our fundraising effort.

“The memory boxes include teddies, casts to make hand and footprints, boxes to keep a lock of hair and hospital tags and few other little keepsakes to help families to remember their little ones.”

Brenda Kelly, Lead Midwife for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said,

“Sadly, every week in Northern Ireland, four babies are stillborn or die in the first four weeks of their life.  Work is ongoing across the UK to try to reduce the number of these deaths that are so distressing for families and the staff involved.

“Our Maternity, Bereavement, Patient Support and Chaplaincy teams work with charities like SANDS to practically and emotionally support families following the loss of a baby, so we greatly welcome the donation of the memory boxes to help bring comfort during such a difficult time,” she said.

“We would like to thank the Boyle family who have taken the time amid their own loss to so generously consider others in the same situation.”

The Boyle family thanked everyone who has supported them during the past few months and everyone who has donated to their fundraising campaign.

Donations are continuing for John and Kerry-Marie’s campaign and can be made via their justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Kerri-Marie-and-John-Boyle/.

For more information  or advice visit www.sandsni.org and www.lilymaefoundation.org.

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