Marley suffered a sudden and unexplained cardiac arrest. He received CPR at home and when the paramedics arrived they were able to restart his heart. Sadly, despite our best efforts and those of the paramedics and highly skilled medical staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital they were unable to resolve the issues with his heart. His cause of death was investigated fully, including genetic testing. However, there was no explanation or reason why the cardiac arrest occurred which lead to his death. As a result it was difficult to decide who to raise money for in Marley’s memory and which charity was the best fit.
Our JustGiving page for this years event, 2023 – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BeMoreMarley
Year 1 – 2021 This was our first year of running this event. We raised £3000 on the day to add to another £4000 on our Just giving page. The proceeds were split between 2 charities. The first was “The Maple Tree” (our local children’s centre) who were able to run free paediatric first aid sessions, including CPR, this has benefited 70 individuals to date. This was important to us as we had both completed a course on children’s first aid where we learnt CPR. We had to put that training to use that awful night, which meant he was still alive when the paramedics arrived, giving him the best fighting chance he could have. We wanted to help other parents, who may face their worst nightmare, to know what to do at that moment.
The second charity was “Teddy’s Wish”, who support families bereaved as a result of sudden infant death. We have benefited first hand from a bereavement retreat which they funded and as a result of the money we raised we were able to fund a retreat this year for other families. Baby Loss Bereavement Retreats | Teddy’s Wish (teddyswish.org)
Year 2 – 2022. Your generosity from the event has meant Teddy’s Wish https://www.teddyswish.org/our-mission have received around £3400. We were able to fund trained persons to go into hospitals to help educate staff on how best to help and interact with families following the death of a child. Those first few minutes and hours after a child dies are a chaotic living hell, the smallest of acts by the staff (even when done with the best of intentions) can have lasting consequences for the families that stay with them forever. However hospital staff can receive little training on how to deal with this horrendous situation. We wanted to help healthcare professionals learn to offer the best support they can to families and ensure they help families make treasured memories in the precious hours after a child dies, and we have been able to do this at several hospitals.
We’ve also managed to fund a cuddle cot for the Paediatric Critical Care at the John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford) where Marley died. Here is a note from the hospital in January… “Recently Marley’s cot was used and a family could stay with their baby overnight in PCC spending time with their child in privacy and comfort before they moved to the local hospice cold room for on going care. They were so very grateful to be able to spend this time as a family after a very long and difficult journey. Being able to offer them the cold cot was absolutely brilliant as the hospice was not available until 24h after death and the family would not have been able to spend uninterrupted precious time together without Marley’s cot.” That you all for your donations for making this happen.
More on Cuddle Cots: The story for many parents is one moment you enter hospital with your child, whom you have loved and looked after every single second since they came into existence. You do everything for them, your whole life revolves around them. Then, a few short moments later you are expected to hand over their body to a stranger. For us we had maybe 2 hours to grieve with Marley’s before he had to be taken away and we were expected to leave him. This was not enough time to say goodbye. This is why “cuddle cots” can be so important for grieving families as it gives them more time with their child to say goodbye after they die. What are cuddle cots? Help with easing the heartbreak of losing a baby | Closer (closeronline.co.uk)
Year 3 – 2023. This summer, on 5th August, we are running the event again. We are planning on the proceeds going to Teddies Wish https://www.teddyswish.org/our-mission