Gosport mum presents cold cot to Queen Alexandra Hospital in memory of stillborn son
JUST weeks after giving birth to her stillborn son, a Gosport mum raised more than £4,000 for equipment to support bereaved parents.
Arlo-Blue was born at 31 weeks to 28-year-old Ashleigh Beeney, and the pair spent four days together with Arlo in a cold cot in the Nightingale Suite of Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
In the following weeks, Ashleigh channelled her energy into raising money to give the hospital a new cold cot - and delivered the equipment yesterday , on Arlo’s due date.
Ashleigh, who has three other children, said: ‘It was emotional and tough. I was up and down all day, one moment I’d smile about it then I’d cry about it.
‘I wouldn’t want anybody to go through this but I know people are because it’s so common. If Arlo can help at least one child, he hasn’t died for nothing.’
When she had Arlo, Ashleigh noticed there weren’t many resources to support his siblings through their grief, so she has been creating sibling bags inspired by what helped Spencer, nine, Poppy, seven, and three-year-old Danny through it.
Alongside the cot, Ashleigh donated two Aching Arms support teddy bears and 26 sibling bags, which include children’s books discussing bereavement, notebooks to write feelings down and matching bracelets for siblings to wear.
Ashleigh is hoping Arlo’s legacy will live on through these donations, and she plans to keep making sibling bags.
‘I knew about stillbirths and baby loss but you never think it’s going to happen to you,’ said Ashleigh.
‘There’s such a stigma about it and people don’t like talking about it but I’d happily sit and talk all day about Arlo.
‘If he can help as many siblings as he can then his death is being turned into a positive and the siblings won’t be forgotten in this.’
Helen Bland, director of midwifery at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘We are very grateful that Ashleigh has been so thoughtful and generous in donating this cot. This was a very sad event for her and we offer our condolences to her and her family – this is a great legacy to remember Arlo-Blue.’
To donate towards more sibling bags, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/arlo-blue