A mum has turned her grief at losing two daughters 11 months apart into something positive by raising funds for a maternity hospital in their memory.
Jemma Watson, 34, said the team at the Ulster Maternity Hospital have a special place in her family’s hearts after their “kindness and compassion” following the death of her daughters Eve and Madelyn.
Both girls died within 11 months of one another, and Jemma says the maternity unit was there for them every step of the way.
Jemma, a nurse from Lisburn, said: “I had a pretty standard pregnancy with my first child Ozzie but then had issues with high blood pressure so was transferred to the Ulster Hospital.
“When he was born he had a bit of a rough start and was quite unwell but turned around quickly and then done really well. The care was phenomenal then, the team just made it amazing for us.
“In 2020 I fell pregnant but unfortunately at my 20 week scan they discovered that our baby had Turner’s Syndrome which can normally be liveable but because she had complications from it she couldn’t survive.
“Our little Eve was born sleeping. At this point I was transferred to Foetal Medicine within the Ulster. Their care was fantastic with the family and everything in between.
“I fell pregnant again quite soon after and I had amazing care again.
“Everything was absolutely fine and at 38 weeks when I was ready to go, I took a placental abruption which was a massive bleed. They took me to theatre and delivered by emergency section, our little Maddie.
“They stabilised Maddie and she was taken to NICU from there. They worked with her but we had to make the decision to withdraw her treatment basically. She had suffered so much and the machines were doing the work for her. She kept deteriorating.”
Madelyn Nita Watson passed away in Jemma’s arms, with her dad Andrew by her side and “the most special midwife and team”.
Raising over £7,000 in a short period of time, the Watson family have thanked everyone for their kindness and donations which will go directly to the Maternity.
“I am a nurse myself and know what it is like with the NHS. It doesn’t bare thinking about, if we didn’t have the NHS, I could never afford that care that we received. The service was incredible and I just can’t thank them enough. I know last year a lot of them got flowers and things like that but this year I thought I would buy some equipment.
“They have a special cot for babies who pass away, a cold cot, and we had to make use of one so I thought they could do with some more. It’s a small way of showing our appreciation. I also wanted to raise awareness in doing this. I am a pretty healthy woman and I think there is a lack of awareness about things that can go wrong and go wrong instantly.
“I work in Kingsbridge Private Hospital and our CEO Mark Regan has actually ordered one of the cots himself. Initially I thought we could buy or give money towards one, when he heard that he went ahead and ordered one which is just incredibly kind.
“I can’t thank people enough for donating to our fundraiser, I appreciate every single penny that has been donated. People are just so unbelievably kind and I have no words to thank them.”