Preston dad's heartbreaking social media post raises £33,000 for 'cold cots' following baby daughter's death

It appears to be a joyful family scene, as two siblings play under the hospital bed while their mother tenderly cradles the family’s newest addition.

By Catherine Musgrove
Saturday, 19th March 2022, 12:30 pm

But dad Sam Brown's photograph lays bare the heartbreaking reality of baby loss, as his third child, Rosie, died shortly after her birth.

>>>This is how many people are affected by baby deaths in Preston.The family were able to spend four days with Rosie, who is tucked in her mother Sophie’s arms, staying in a specially-equipped bereavement suite in the Royal Preston Hospital where the picture was taken.

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The family spending precious time in the bereavement suite

After a social media post Sam wrote about their experience went viral, the family have been able to raise more than £33,000 for charity, to enable others grieving the loss of their baby to benefit from the same support.

>>>Make a donation hereSam, 36, from Walmer Bridge, said: “I don’t know where we would be as a family if we hadn’t been able to spend this time with Rosie.

"The room had a cuddle cot, which is a specially cooled cot, and this meant we could spend longer than just a few hours with Rosie after she died. “Over the four days we had together with Rosie her grandparents were able to come in and hold her, her big brother and sister got to meet her and Sophie and I could take time to bath her, cuddle her and take handprints while we tried to process what had just happened.“To have had those days with her means the world to us.”

Sam’s wife Sophie, 35, an illustrator, experienced a normal, healthy pregnancy with Rosie, the couple’s third child, and was deemed a low risk. Their older children Lily, five, and Rudy, two, had also been uncomplicated and low risk deliveries.Rosie arrived on January 19, the day before her due date, but complications during the delivery meant she died shortly after she was born.Sam, a director for a hospitality technology company, said: “We still don’t know exactly what happened as Rosie’s labour and delivery progressed normally.“We believe she didn’t get enough oxygen during the delivery and doctors couldn’t resuscitate her after she arrived, but we won't know the details until the hospital has done a full investigation.“Sophie and I are heartbroken, it’s something you don’t ever think could happen to your family.”

Sophie, Sam, Rudy and Lily Brown

Two million viewsBefore returning to work Sam shared a post on the social networking site LinkedIn to let colleagues and friends know what had happened. It subsequently went viral and has now had more than two million views worldwide.The couple decided to channel the outpouring of support into raising money for the charity 4Louis, who provide cuddle cots and bereavement suites in maternity wards around the country.

To do this, Sam has got on his rowing machine and rowed 6,840 metres a day over nine months – to mark 6,840 minutes with Rosie, as well as the time she was in the womb.

He said: “We aimed to raise £1,600, enough to buy one cuddle cot, but we’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and support.”

So far the family’s fundraising total stands at more than £33,000.

Bob McGurrell, chief executive of 4Louis, a charity which supports families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a baby or child, said: “At 4Louis we provide memory boxes, cuddle cots, cuddle blankets for older children and also full bereavement suites to hospitals.“We send out 1,500 memory boxes a month to hospitals to help families going through a bereavement, and all the funds our supporters raise go directly to helping these families.

“The money raised by Sam and Sophie will help so many other parents going through the loss of their child, and Rosie’s legacy will always be remembered.”