The most beautiful gift you can give a grieving parent.
Will you help provide a quiet haven for grieving parents in Cork University Maternity Hospital by making a donation towards the €25,000 renovation of our Quiet Room?
When she was just 16 weeks pregnant with Grace, her second baby, Jackie Prout and her husband Mikey came to Cork University Maternity Hospital to hear some devastating news.
“I was so excited to be pregnant again. But the chance of Grace living long after birth was very low”– Jackie. As you know, Cork University Maternity Hospital is such a special place for each and every one of us. CUMH is also the major maternity hospital for the Munster region and is a place of great joy. But tragically, for some parents, like Jackie and Mikey, it can sometimes be a place where they experience immense loss.
At the heart of CUMH there is a small Quiet Room where parents like Jackie and Mikey can go to spend time with their baby – a room where many of them will say their final goodbyes. Sadly, our Quiet Room has seen better days and is in need of an upgrade.
So, this Christmas, we launched our special Quiet Room Appeal to raise the €25,000 we need to completely renovate this special room. With your help, we can turn that room into a more comfortable, intimate and private haven. A sanctuary for parents in the midst of their overwhelming grief. Having a comfortable private space is so important to parents like Jackie and Mikey – because it is there that they will spend some of the most precious moments of their lives.
“The first thing we did when we heard the news about Grace was go home and hug our little son Jack.” And from that moment on, Dr Keelin O’Donoghue and the wonderful team at CUMH helped Jackie, Mikey and Jack prepare for the heartache and joy of Grace’s birth. CUMH’s specialist bereavement midwives were wonderfully supportive and suggested Jackie and Mikey spend the next few weeks ‘making memories’ with baby Grace. And so, they went to Cork’s St Patrick’s Day parade; they enjoyed a family holiday in Killarney; they went to the park. Jackie, Mikey, Jack and baby Grace did all the things you’d normally do as a family. And they took lots of photos.
“I wanted to run and hide at the time but it really helps now to look back on those photos. Grace is there, she is with us. She is very much part of our family.” And though Jackie’s pregnancy had been such an emotional one, she didn’t want it to end.
“I knew when I gave birth to Grace, that I would have to lose her.”
We cannot take away that incredible pain from our grieving parents. But there is something truly special that we can do for them. Together we can give families the privacy and dignity of a special Quiet Room so that parents like Jackie and Mikey can savour every precious moment in comfort and privacy. Grace survived just one precious hour after she was born. Jackie and Mikey talk about that hour as one of the most special sixty minutes of their lives.
“We held her close and told her we loved her and that she will always be a part of our family and of our lives.” The good news is that Jackie and Mikey have since returned to CUMH for the birth of their new baby son Jamie. Jackie and Mikey always chat to the boys about Grace, their sister. She will be never be forgotten. When the family pass by the CUMH, they always think of their little girl.
“We couldn’t have got through that time without the fantastic staff at the hospital, our family, friends and work colleagues. They all carried us along, through the tough times.”
CUMH is a special place for each and every one of us. It is where we look after each other with expert loving care. And there is nobody who deserves that tender care more than our grieving parents.
Please support this most special Quiet Room Appeal – and offer our heartbroken
parents the gift of our deepest sympathy and our never-ending support.