Heartbroken Hebburn couple raise hundreds after baby was stillborn
A heartbroken Hebburn couple have raised hundreds after suffering a stillbirth – and now plan to help others like them.
Nineteen-year-old couple Bethany Tompkins and Carlo McManus, of Kelly Road, were left devastated by the loss of their first child earlier this month.
Roman Paul McManus was sadly stillborn on Thursday, July 9, when Bethany was 35 weeks pregnant after it was discovered he was suffering from a condition called Fetal Hydrocephalus or ‘water on the brain’.
On July 6, Bethany became concerned that she couldn’t feel him moving and had gone to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.
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But medics were unable to find a heartbeat and Bethany was induced, delivering Roman three days later after what she has described as a ‘complicated’ labour.
"It was horrendous, it was the most traumatic experience I have ever gone through,” said Bethany.
In the days afterwards the couple set up a fundraising page to help fund the costs of Roman’s funeral, which has now raised over £800.
"He didn’t get to experience anything that we had planned for him, but he changed all our lives even though he never got to live his”, continued the customer service adviser.
"We wanted help to celebrate how much of an impact he had on everyone in such a small space of time.”
After being ‘overwhelmed’ by the amount raised Bethany and Carlo, a scaffolder, plan to donate the rest to help other parents of stillborn babies at the RVI and to raise awareness of the condition.
Fetal Hydrocephalus – which can be fatal if left untreated - affects around one in every 1,000 births and is usually caused by an underlying health issue.
"It’s support has been amazing, we didn’t realise that we had that much around us,” said Bethany.
"The grief has been coming in waves, we have just been so focused on getting everything done for him, but after the funeral next week I’m planning to work with the hospital to help raise awareness.
“The staff helped us so much, they were incredible for the whole four days that we were in there, we wanted to give something back.”
Donate to Bethany’s Go Fund Me page here