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Why a bereavement suite meant so much to King's Lynn woman who suffered stillbirth

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With a fundraising target in place for a dedicated bereavement suite at Lynn’s hospital, a mother has described how she benefited from a similar facility in 2007.

Danielle Kendle used the old bereavement suite, ‘Room K’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital when she suffered a stillbirth.

She said: “I was really fortunate to be in this room where there was everything I needed including a sofa bed, ensuite bathroom with a shower, fridge, television, tea and coffee.

Danielle Kendle with Angela and Marcie of Sands, stillbirth charity
Danielle Kendle with Angela and Marcie of Sands, stillbirth charity

“Everything was on hand without needing to keep going in and out of the unit where mothers were labouring.

“I think it was sound proof as it was in an old refurbished theatre room so I did not hear anything.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has set a fundraising target of £185,000 for a new Maternity Bereavement Suite, which was voted as the Lynn News Charity of the Year 2020 by readers.

Danielle Kendle with her children Shayna and Logan
Danielle Kendle with her children Shayna and Logan

Mrs Kendle said the former suite she used was removed when the neonatal unit was expanded.

This means grieving mothers are near birthing mothers at the moment – a situation which is distressing for those involved.

On the importance of donating towards the building of a new suite, Mrs Kendle said: “Having a bereavement suite again would mean bereaved families would have a space that is calm and comfortable where they can make memories with their baby and families.

“This is a heartbreaking time for any parents to go through and will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

“Being in a room away from other labouring women with facilities around me for my visitors contributed to helping me remain calm in the most stressful heartbreaking time of my entire life.”

Mrs Kendle has a nine-year-old called Shayna and a six-year-old called Logan. She sadly lost Tia-Louise at the QEH in January 2007.

The Lynn mother is also a volunteer for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

A previous statement by the charity said: “The care that bereaved parents receive in hospital following the death of their baby is crucial.

“These experiences may be remembered by parents for the rest of their lives, and bad experiences are likely to exacerbate feelings of pain and grief for bereaved parents, potentially for many years to come.”

To donate for the QEH Maternity Bereavement Suite cause, head to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/qehmaternitybereavementsuite.

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

The hospital are also looking for a free venue to host a fundraising quiz evening in May in aid of the suite.

It was originally intended to host the quiz in the hospital hub, but due to the uncertainties regarding the coronavirus, it has been decided a venue change is necessary.

The venue will need to accommodate around 100 people. Call Laurence Morlaàs, QEH fundraising executive, on 01553 613373 if you are able to help.

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