On 22 September, East Surrey Hospital Midwife, Tracy Skinner, and her husband Andy, a Maternity Ward Clerk, will be walking 100 kilometres (60 miles) in one day, from The Sea Lane Café in Goring to Brighton Marina and back twice, to raise funds for Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity.
Andy explained: “We are taking on this challenge in memory of all the babies who sadly die before, at the time of or shortly after, birth and in so doing, raising money for Sands to help fund research and support those families tragically affected. However, the inspiration behind our venture is a little girl named Penny.”
Penny’s Mum, Stephanie, said: ”Sadly, in 2016, our daughter Penny was stillborn, at 41+ weeks through a pregnancy that had been seemingly uncomplicated until that point. In turning up at the hospital to deliver our first child, we were given the devastating news that there was no heartbeat. As first time parents, we hadn’t really considered an outcome where we didn’t come home from the hospital with our new baby. The shock was overwhelming!
“The immediate support we received, enabled by Sands (from the private room at the hospital where we were able to spend time with our precious Penny; the caring attention, comfort and advice we received from Tracy and the team, to the pictures, hand and feet casts and donated knitted outfit) enabled us to feel like a family and create some beautiful memories of our short time with Penny, that we are extremely grateful for.
“Losing Penny is a trauma that will always be with us – Sands funding helps to provide ongoing resource and research, that not only helps (in a multitude of ways) those who have suffered such tragedy, but also will hopefully lead to a reduction in the number of stillbirths occurring in this country.
“Tracy and her husband are incredibly special people, we are enormously grateful that they are raising money for Sands, and touched they are doing so in honour of our Penny”.
Tracy is the Bereavement Midwife at East Surrey Hospital and works closely with women, and their husbands or partners, who have sadly lost a baby. She said: “Andy and I are experienced walkers, but neither of us have previously walked more than 50 Kilometres (30 miles) in one day, so we have set ourselves a considerable challenge.
“100 Kilometres is significant because there are 100 “Pennies” in every Pound and each 15 mile leg of our journey represents the number of babies who sadly die in this country every day. ⌗15babiesaday”
Andy concluded: “We want to sincerely thank everyone who has so generously supported us to date. We have been humbled by the many messages that have been posted on our JustGiving page.
If you would like to support Tracy and Andy with their fundraising for Sands, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/