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Devastating experience drives desire for new King's Lynn hospital suite

A mother has spoken about feeling like her “heart was ripping” after being told there was no heartbeat after expecting the birth of her second child.

Verity Gamble was 40 weeks into her pregnancy when she received the devastating news that her baby, Summer Ashley, had passed away at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

And she explained that such an experience means plans for a new Bereavement Suite are “essential, not a luxury” for those who will go through a similar experience.

Verity Gamble and her daughter Gracie Jayne
Verity Gamble and her daughter Gracie Jayne

Mrs Gamble said: “I remember Gracie [daughter] sitting there unaware her baby brother or sister had died. We were taken to an office for some time to try to process what had happened.

“We phoned our family and broke the news. Our parents rushed to the hospital to be by our sides and care for Gracie.

“We were led through the waiting room of all the excited expectant parents waiting for their scans and taken to a room on the Waterlily Unit.”

Following a caesarian, Verity, her husband Ashley and daughter Gracie were able to spend some precious days with Summer in the hospital back in 2016.

Those precious memories are at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s fundraising plans for a new Maternity Bereavement Unit, which was voted as the Lynn News Charity of the Year by readers this year.

And Mrs Gamble has explained why the hospital’s £185,000 target needs to be reach in order to create a dedicated, soundproof space for grieving parents.

She said: “The Maternity Bereavement Suite at the hospital is crucial. Whilst at the hospital, we spent time with Summer in a room on Waterlily.

Charity of the Year 2020 - QEH Maternity Bereavement Suite logo
Charity of the Year 2020 - QEH Maternity Bereavement Suite logo

“Looking back, families shouldn’t have to spend their precious time in hospital listening to labouring women. They shouldn’t have to listen to newborn babies crying whilst they’re baby lays silently, and they would give anything to hear they’re baby cry.

“A soundproofed safe space for families to spend their precious time with their babies making memories and introducing family and friends is what’s desperately needed. It is essential, not a luxury.

“Sadly more families will find themselves in this position, and making these changes will make a huge difference to families’ experiences in hospital.”

The Lynn News has previously reported on Mrs Gamble organising her own fundraiser for the Bereavement Suite last summer.

She organised an afternoon tea fundraiser at the Knight’s Hill Hotel to “ help create a nice room for the families who find themselves in a similar position to make memories”.

Those wishing to donate to the QEH should visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/qehmaternitybereavementsuite.

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