Two Derbyshire friends who tragically lost their babies are making a real difference to help other bereaved families.
Jo-Anne Oldfield’s son Mac was born premature on September 18 2013 but died 17 days later on October 3 due to an infection.
In his memory, the 43-year-old has raised an incredible £35,000 for Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s Neonatal Unit from a number of events – and presented a further cheque for £8,000 on Monday.
“The neonatal unit and the hospital staff in general were all amazing and brought Mac safely into the world and also saved my life,” Jo-Anne said.
Jo-Anne said she had a ‘very difficult’ pregnancy with Mac due to a low lying placenta, which brought labour on very early at just 25-and-a-half weeks.
The hotel boss was also in an induced coma for two days after haemorrhaging and had to have a full blood transfusion.
She said: “Mac sadly passed on my other little boy’s birthday, Jax, on October 3, who was turning four. Jax was also born four weeks premature and spent time in the neonatal unit at Chesterfield four years previous to Mac arriving.”
The money Jo-Anne has raised has gone toward helping to buy vital equipment, and she is hoping to reach a target of £50,000.
Jo-Anne, who is the managing director of the Sitwell Arms in Renishaw, was joined at the cheque presentation by her friend Lisa Fletcher, whose daughter Lillie Grace was stillborn in 2015.
Lisa, 43, of Killamarsh, set up a charity called Dresses for Angels in January 2016 which turns donated wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses into angel gowns for babies who pass away too soon.
She presented the neonatal unit with a box of gowns made from Jo-Anne’s wedding dress and bridesmaid outfits. Lisa has been nominated in the ‘Inspirational Mother’ category of the Butterfly Awards, which celebrate the achievements of those affected by baby loss.
She said: “To know that I am making my husband Nik proud as well as all these other people then it shows that Lillie did not die for nothing.
“In 20 months we have sent out 600 packs to families.”
Vote for Lisa before October 1 here.