Oldham couple raise vital funds for Royal Oldham Hospital maternity units

Losing a baby can be one of the toughest things that a parent ever has to face, but one brave couple from Oldham have used the loss of their son Dexter to support other parents on the maternity units at The Royal Oldham Hospital by fundraising with family and friends.

Parents Jessica and Michael Greaves sadly lost their son Dexter when Jessica was 15 weeks pregnant.

Jessica explains: “We sadly lost our baby Dexter when I was 15 weeks pregnant and we couldn’t really understand why he had passed away. The nurses at the hospital were very supportive. It was only when we were discussing our loss and we were trying to come to terms with losing Dexter that one of the nurses recommended that we visit Dexter’s Garden in the hospital grounds.

“We thought that the idea of a baby memorial garden on the hospital grounds was a lovely idea and the fact that it was called Dexter’s Garden really touched us. It’s a really special space, where you can go and have a quiet moment to reflect and remember your child. After hearing about Dexter’s Garden, that spurred Michael and I to show our support for other parents on the maternity units by doing some fundraising.”

Dexter’s Garden is a special baby memorial garden set up for all bereaved families as a quiet space for families to pause, reflect and remember the children they have sadly lost. It was launched at The Royal Oldham Hospital in October 2018 and was set up by Katie Bowker, a Midwife in the Maternity Department. The project is a personal one, which is very close to Katie’s heart, and a tribute to her son Dexter, who passed away shortly after birth in November 2016.

Katie said: “The idea behind Dexter’s Garden is to provide a special place for families who have lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy and after birth. My aim was to provide a safe, quiet place for families where they can reflect, mourn and pay tribute to their angel babies – a place that is calm, serene and beautiful.”

The £330 donation raised by Jessica and Michael for the hospital’s maternity units will be used to support families and purchase equipment. It will be split between Ward F1, F2 and Dexter’s Garden.

Support for families affected by the loss of a baby or child is available from SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) at: www.sands.org.uk or by calling: 0808 164 3332. Alternatively, parents can seek confidential bereavement support by contacting The Lullaby Trust at: www.lullabytrust.org.uk or by calling: 0808 802 6868.

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by e-mail: josie.neil@pat.nhs.uk.

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