A big cuddle to carry on Maggie's legacy

The memory of a baby who was "born asleep" will live on and help grieving parents thanks to a new addition at Derian House.

Monday, 18th July 2016, 2:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:34 pm
Phil Simpson, of Simpson's of Colne, who made the cuddle cot, with Oliver Parsons, Sarah Bernasconi and Mark Parsons at Derian House

Since Sarah Bernasconi and her fiance Mark Parsons lost their baby girl last June, they have been fund-raising for cold cots - more affectionately known as cuddle cots.

The couple held fun days and had sold items such as clothes and gifts through the Maggie Pearl Parsons Legacy... Stillborn Fundraising Awareness Group on Facebook.

Through their donations, they funded a cot, worth £7,000, for Derian House, in Chorley.

Sarah Bernasconi with Maggie Pearl

Sarah, 35, of Blackburn, said: “Last June we had our baby girl, Maggie, who was stillborn at Burnley General Hospital. We were given a cold cot, which had been donated by a family whose baby, Oliver, had died. It was particularly comforting, as Maggie's half brother is called Oliver.

“We named our baby Maggie Pearl, after my grandmother Margaret, who had recently passed away, and my nana, Pearl. Because the coldness preserved Maggie, we were able to keep her for three days, which was lovely. We were able to dress her and my family from Spain had time to visit her.

“Since then we decided to do fund-raising as we believe every hospital should have one. They are £7,000 and have gained enough donations for three so far. We donated our third one to Derian House as it supports a lot of families with angel babies.

“Derian House is an amazing place and helps so many people. It has a sunflower room, which is cold, but we felt babies need to sleep in a cot.

Sarah Bernasconi with Maggie Pearl

“The cot has a gerbera flower, which is Maggie’s flower. Her memory will live on and this cot will help other parents, just as Oliver’s cot helped Mark and I.

“We hope to raise money for another cot in the future.”

Sarah and Mark. 37, also provide memory boxes and angel gowns.

Sarah added: “I have had more than 300 wedding dresses cut up into little gowns for stillborn babies to wear. Parents can chose to have a naming ceremony and we provide a memory box with items such as an angle key ring, hand and foot print kits and an SD photocard so families can take lots of pictures. The memory box also includes forget-me-not seeds so parents can plant them and what them grow.

“We just want to help make the grieving process smoother, allowing them to create memories. This is also our way of keeping Maggie’s memory alive and gives myself and Mark a reason for carrying on.”

To help raise funds for further cold cuddle cots, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/442936182551976/