A COUPLE whose daughter was tragically stillborn are organising a fundraiser in her memory to raise cash for an intensive care unit specially for newborn babies.
Jenny and Adam Pugh from March lost their daughter Jessica just eight weeks ago and are now ploughing all their efforts into trying to organise a balloon launch.
Upwell family-run business Balloonprint, run by Peter and Alyson Bradley, kindly agreed to donate the balloons and helium to the event after being approached by the Citizen.
The Pughs will be raising money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital’s Cots for Tots appeal.
Dad Adam (30) said: “Even though Jessica didn’t need the NICU, if things had turned out differently she may have spent up to 15 weeks in there. That’s why we have decided to raise some money for them.”
The couple have bravely agreed to share their story in the wake of their loss in a bid to get others involved in their fundraiser and raise as much money as possible.
Jenny, who works at Doddington Hospital, was 25 weeks pregnant when she went into premature labour at the end of August. The worried 25-year-old was given drugs to slow her labour and her unborn daughter was given steroids to mature her lungs in the event she would be born.
But then her waters broke and Jenny was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, the only hospital for miles with an available bed in a NICU that could cater for such a premature baby.
She said: “It was all really calm. The staff were obviously rushing around but there was no sense of panic.”
A scan carried out on the afternoon of August 30 showed baby Jessica was still hanging in there and they continued to wait.
But in the early hours of the morning, Jenny’s labour restarted. In the delivery room, they experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when they were told the doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat.
Jessica weighed 1lb 8oz when she was born and Jenny said she was “perfect”. She was christened at the hospital and the grieving couple got to spend 25 hours with their baby.
Jenny and Adam praised the hospital staff, who were very understanding and supportive. They were able to pick some clothes – knitted by members of a charity group called Lisa’s Stars – and a cuddly toy to keep.
When a friend suggested doing a balloon launch, the Pughs thought it would be a lovely way to remember their daughter and also allow others to remember loved ones, regardless of how they died.
People are invited to buy a tag in memory of a loved one and launch a balloon with the Pughs. Details of how to purchase your tag will be released closer to the time.
They are hoping to launch the balloons locally on Saturday, December 10, which would have been Jessica’s due date.
Jenny would also like to organise a raffle. Anyone wishing to donate raffle prizes can contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org