Farnworth parents help others face tragedy of stillbirth

The Bolton News: With the cheques are, from left, Kelly Morris, aged 15, Ben Hesketh, aged 16, Wendy Travis, community midwife, Channy Patel, Paula Holmes-Patel, Midwife Liz Whitehead, Midwife and Tom Ainscow, aged 16 With the cheques are, from left, Kelly Morris, aged 15, Ben Hesketh, aged 16, Wendy Travis, community midwife, Channy Patel, Paula Holmes-Patel, Midwife Liz Whitehead, Midwife and Tom Ainscow, aged 16

PARENTS inspired by the memory of their baby son have helped comfort other couples who have suffered the devastating loss of a child during pregnancy.

Jacob Samuel Holmes-Patel was stillborn - he died suddenly just hours before his planned delivery in June, 2012.

His parents, Paula and Channy, were able to spend as much time as they wanted with their second child thanks to a Cold Cot, which had been donated in memory of a baby girl.

The couple, who are both teachers at Harper Green School, Farnworth, wanted to thank to their midwife at North Manchester Hospital, Liz Whitehead.

They started fundraising for a Cold Cot for the hospital, to help other grieving families.

Assistant headteacher Mrs Holmes-Patel, aged 41, said: “I had never heard of a Cold Cot before but they are really important as it allows parents to spend time with their child.

"It’s really important to be able to do this because it can help with the grieving process.

“We wanted to be able to do something because Liz went above and beyond. She was so compassionate during such a traumatic time.”

And thanks to the support from their colleagues and pupils at the school they have raised thousands of pounds, which will pay for a Cold Cot as well supporting the Community Midwife Team in Bolton.

Fundraising highlights included sponge a teacher and a dinner dance at which pupil Tom Ainscow, aged 16, sang.

He said: “At this school students and staff always support each other.”

Christ Church CE Primary School in Ainsworth, where the couple’s son, Joshua, aged eight, is a pupil, also helped to raise money.

The couple also have a six-month-old daughter, Sofia-Grace Midwife Mrs Whitehead said: “It is tremendous what the couple have done.

Without a Cold Cot parents can only hold their child for short time, and with this it can be over days if they wish.”

Bolton Community Midwife, Wendy Travis, who cared for Mrs Holmes-Patel when she was pregnant with Jacob and later Sofia Grace, was also at the cheque presentation.

She said: “The money has been donated to the local community and will go to children’s centre which will help local women.”

The cot will be inscribed with Jacob’s name.

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