Couple who lost daughter thank charity and Sunderland Royal Hospital staff for helping them through heartache

Steph Archbold and Phil Capewell with Amelia shortly after her birth at Sunderland Royal.
Steph Archbold and Phil Capewell with Amelia shortly after her birth at Sunderland Royal.

A couple are holding a celebration for their late daughter as they give back to the charity which helped them through their heartache.

Steph Archbold and Phil Capewell were told following their 20 week scan Amelia had a series of conditions including spina bifida, a diaphragmatic hernia and fluid on the brain.

Amelia Capewell's footprints were recorded thanks to the help of them memory box gifted to Steph Archbold and Phil Capwell by 4Louis.

Amelia Capewell's footprints were recorded thanks to the help of them memory box gifted to Steph Archbold and Phil Capwell by 4Louis.

They were told she would not survive after she was born, with the couple deciding to carry on with the pregnancy and spend what time they could with their child.

The Southwick couple were supported by Washington-based charity 4Louis and staff at Sunderland Royal’s maternity unit, with the team helping them to prepare and assist them when she was born in January.

Now they are helping to back the charity and its work with the hospital by holding a fundraiser this weekend in Amelia’s honour - with more than £1,000 already raised before Saturday’s event, with all cash raised to find the boxes given to parents to help them capture memories and mementos.

Steph, 24, who works as an adult social worker and is originally from South Shields, and Phil, 29, who works at Nissan, have invited friends and family to gather to mark her life and show their support for the Louis Suite at the hospital.

We couldn’t be more grateful and to us that time was so precious and they made it so special, taking something that is so negative to make it as positive experience as possible.

Steph Archbold

Amelia was born there in January when Steph reached 33 weeks.

Steph said: “We were given the choice about whether we wanted to continue with the pregnancy or not and we said we wanted to and we didn’t know if it would go on full-term and we were advised about the risks.

“She was born alive, but we didn’t want her to suffer and she was breathing for 12 minutes and she was in our arms when she died.

“The suite was set aside for us, and there were three other babies being born to mams in the unit at the time, so we were able to have this area to ourselves.

“It’s large room that was free for us to use and away from everyone else in labour, and we were given a memory box which included a memory card for us to use in the camera to take pictures and that was the most amazing thing for my and Phil to have those photos of us holding her.

“They were so helpful to us from the off and those photos are incredible.

“Also in the box we got ink so we could take footprint and hand prints and then we got to use the cuddle cot which also gave us more time than we would have had otherwise.

“We couldn’t be more grateful and to us that time was so precious and they made it so special, taking something that is so negative to make it as positive experience as possible.

“There was nothing we could do to change the situation or save her life, but the short time we had, we are so grateful for.”

Saturday’s event will be held at Hebburn Central and will feature toys for youngsters to play with, a raffle and tombola.

Entry is £5 on the door and the session runs from 2pm to 4pm.

Donations can also be gifted via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amelia-capewell and more details about the charity can be found through http://www.4louis.co.uk/.