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King's Lynn bereavement suite appeal: Death of baby Max was ‘unimaginable’ pain

The neonatal death of a new-born was a devastating experience for a mother who has backed plans for a new bereavement suite in Lynn.

Stephanie Gibbs, 25, and her husband Martin were expecting a baby boy after positive scans on November 25, but were shocked to find out their child Max was prematurely born at 20 weeks and four days.

Mrs Gibbs has spoken about the need for a new Maternity Bereavement Suite at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which has been voted as the Lynn News Charity of the Year.

Stephanie and Martin Gibbs. Picture: SUBMITTED
Stephanie and Martin Gibbs. Picture: SUBMITTED

Having been moved from the Castle Acre Suite to the Willow Room in the Waterlily Birth Centre, Mrs Gibbs said it was very hot and she could hear other labouring women and newborn babies.

She explained: “It was hard hearing newborn babies after yours has passed away.

“It’s not a very nice scenario to be in when you can hear people who are over the moon and you are in the next window having to say goodbyes to your baby.

“It is unimaginable. The staff were brilliant. It was just the surroundings and room.

“You never expect your child to go before you and you take it for granted. You do not think your baby is not going to make it so as soon as they told us your emotions go all over the place and normality switches off.”

Mrs Gibbs comes from a fanatical football family with Max being named after Norwich City defender Max Aarons.

In order to raise some extra funds for the bereavement suite plans, which requires a fundraising target of £185,000 to be reached, Mrs Gibbs has been selling football scratch cards for the cause.

Charity of the Year 2020
Charity of the Year 2020

She said: “With Covid, it has been quite limited with the fundraising around so these football scratch cards have come about.”

People are asked to donate £2 per team to be in with a chance of winning. In total, there are 80 teams. When someone scratches the card, the name of the winning team needed can be found underneath.

These football scratch cards are raising funds for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Maternity Bereavement Suite cause. Picture: SUBMITTED
These football scratch cards are raising funds for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Maternity Bereavement Suite cause. Picture: SUBMITTED

Email stephanie.lauren19@hotmail.com if you are interested.

Mrs Gibbs is currently 14 weeks pregnant with her second child, and said Max’s death has been in the back of her mind throughout.

She said: “It definitely focuses your pregnancy and it can be hard to see positives. It is a completely different pregnancy and I have been having a lot more scans at the QEH.

“You wake up every day thinking you are a step closer to having a baby.”

The 25-year-old described the Whispers from Wings bereavement support group (reported in last week’s Lynn News) as a “godsend”.

To donate to the QEH suite, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/qehmaternitybereavementsuite

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