A Doncaster couple have raised a huge £11,600 during a 20-mile sponsored walk, in memory of their stillborn son, Finn.
Daniel and Dannielle Baker lost Finn only six months before the walk, which began on 24 April at Bassetlaw Hospital, the place of Finn’s birth, to Barnby Dun, his home.
All the funds raised on the seven-hour walk have been donated to the Serenity Appeal, a charity campaign created by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) Charity to improve maternity bereavement services at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital.
Speaking about how she felt on the morning of the walk, Dannielle, who works as a secondary school teacher, said: “I was very emotional. I couldn’t stop crying. It was very mixed emotions.”
But the group, which saw lots of family and friends join at Armthorpe on the last three miles, made it to the 20-mile mark with a smile on their faces, Dannielle explained.
She said: “Even by the time we got halfway, it got easier. Everyone was upbeat.”
Life-long friend, Katy Bethan, helped the couple set up their fundraising event.
She said: “I wanted to give Finn a legacy. No-one got to meet him, but his name lives on through the fundraising.
“It has really helped distract them and put a positive spin on something that was so traumatising.”
Completed recently, the Serenity Appeal has raised more than £150,000, and has seen the creation of a specialist bereavement suite at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI), as well as the purchase of a mobile ultrasound scanner for Bassetlaw Hospital.
When the couple lost Finn, Dannielle was given the choice to go to Bassetlaw Hospital to give birth to him. The two went ahead and received ‘unbelievable’ care.
Dannielle said: “We were so looked after. There was always the nod to ‘we’re sorry you’re here’, but we were always having a nice chat.
“It took you away from what was happening.”
After giving birth to Finn, the pair stayed at Bassetlaw Hospital for a further four days.
Between regular visits from staff, who introduced themselves personally, asking how the couple were doing and looking at Finn, Dannielle expressed how ‘human’ it made her feel.
She said: “They cared about the human stuff, not just the stuff they had to do.”
Partner Daniel was so grateful for the care they had received, he bought the staff 200 electric candles, something they use to create a soothing environment for families experiencing baby loss.
Dannielle was inspired by the many donations she saw on the ward in memory of other lost babies.
She said: “It made me not feel alone.”
To make their own contribution to help services be the best they could be, they set up the sponsored walk.
To find out more about the serenity appeal, please visit the DBTH charity website: https://dbthcharity.co.uk/serenity-appeal/