Sutton mum who lost her baby after 37 hours raises vital support for grieving families
A Sutton mum who lost her newborn baby after 37 hours has raised vital support for grieving parents and families – and all in the name of her precious baby Liam.
Claire Meakin, 41, was preparing for life as a mother in 1998 when her pregnancy took a turn, and a severe blood clot caused baby Liam to be born without a heartbeat.
The devastation led to the newborn dying on June 2, 1998, just 37 hours after he was born on May 31, and caused heartbreak for Claire and the rest of her family.
But since Liam’s death they have celebrated his birthday every year, and to mark what would have been his 21st birthday earlier this year they held a charity ball in his name.
The event, aptly named ‘From Liam With Love’, raised cash to fund ‘Cuddle Cots' for hospitals across the British Isles.
The cots have cooling sheets which keep a baby’s body cold when it is stillborn, allowing families time to grieve with their baby and make precious memories “that last a lifetime”.
Claire’s event raised £9,000, meaning she could buy six cots, and has been able to send them to hospitals right across the country – including Derby, Scunthorpe, Middlesex and even Ireland.
Claire says the Cots are “vital” for the grieving families and was “honoured” to deliver one to King’s Mill Hospital, which supported her through her darkest time.
She said: “The cots help create memories that you would not normally get, families are able to take their precious babies home, put them in a pram and take them out for a walk.
“But years ago, the baby was born and taken straight away.
“The cots are vital for helping to start the grieving process and for the parents to come to terms with the death of their babies.
“I was lucky because I had two days with Liam, but for other mums it’s so important because you go in expecting a healthy and happy baby, but you come out with empty arms.
“The midwives at King’s Mill were fantastic with us when Liam died, and to be able to personally deliver them a Cuddle Cot was such an honour.”