katetinker

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Plea:

Hi,

I am Kate Tinker – mum to Harry.

After we lost Harry I felt that I needed to improve the bereavement services and facilities for other families who experienced a similar loss to ours.

Working closely with Warrington & Halton NHS Trust and the Cheshire & Merseyside network organisations, our charitable trust is now a large part of how the bereavement support service is organised and operated. We are also noted as a means of support on the Palliative Pathway of Care.

To say I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved would be an understatement! I am extremely passionate about the level of care that families receive following such a devastating loss & am keen to ensure that it is of the highest quality possible. I believe that all family members should be included in the follow up care and given the opportunity to express their grief and memory making as an individual.

We have created comfortable private areas, that are non-clinical in appearance – for families to spend time with their baby, and have invested heavily in memory making resources, so that baby is always remembered as the family would like.

On a personal note have continued to try a further 5 cycles of IVF, none of which have been successful. The psychological torment of IVF therapy is deeply stressful and following each I find myself grieving all over again.

As an organisation, we try to keep a supportive relationship with the parents and families we help, and many of these families have gone on to have their rainbow baby. Personally I am thrilled for them and always happy to hear their positive news; however it is a little bittersweet for me, as we have never had a rainbow to help relieve us from the grief we felt those 6 years and 5 months ago -when our world fell apart overnight. My empty heart still aches for the child we never brought home. There were no genetic reasons to explain Harry’s death, which makes it all the more difficult to realise that we still haven’t been blessed with our rainbow.

 

With each year that passes, my sub-conscious mind never fails to plunge me back into the moments leading up to finding out that our baby would not be coming home …. My heart once again feels heavy and my empty arms ache for my missing child. I will always grieve this way for my baby that we never got the opportunity to get to know and watch grow.

 

A message from my nominator:

“Since the stillbirth of Harry, Kate has become more inspirational year after year in her mission to improve maternity and neonatal bereavement services at Warrington Hospital. She runs the charity Harry & Co which has funded the refurbishment of The Butterfly Suite on labour ward, the Rainbow room on the neonatal unit and the counselling room on the antenatal day unit. Her next project is to fund the majority of the cost towards refurbishment of a second bereavement room on labour ward. Kate has also set up closed online support groups on social media and has facilitated a bereaved fathers’ social event. Kate provides the hospital with photographic equipment & consumables, books for siblings for parents to keep and also a beautiful wooden initial keepsake for each family. Basically anything I ask for to enhance our memory making service is funded by Kate’s charity. Kate now provides siblings’ books for hospitals across the Cheshire & Mersey region and on Harry’s birthday this year Kate accompanied myself to the Embrace conference in London where we presented a poster showcased working in collaboration. Through networking at this event Kate has made contacts across the UK so other hospitals can benefit and improve their services, what a poignant way to remember Harry, he would be so proud and I am eternally grateful for your support. Well done Kate you really deserve this award. ”

I have tried to improve the experience for parents and families who experience the death of their baby, which I know is the most devastating & life-altering experience I have ever had. Nobody should have to suffer the loss of a child or baby – I hope the organisation I have created just makes the whole tragedy a little easier to cope with.

Thank you for reading.

 

Kate

What others have said:

Since the stillbirth of Harry, Kate has become more inspirational year after year in her mission to improve maternity and neonatal bereavement services at Warrington Hospital. What a poignant way to remember Harry.