A north-east mum has told of her surprise after a fundraiser set up in memory of her stillborn baby girl made more than 30 times her original goal.
Elizabeth Lynch, from Ellon, decided to set up the GoFundMe page alongside her partner Ross Donaldson, to raise money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) after they lost their daughter Bella earlier this month.
Elizabeth told how she was eight months pregnant when she went into hospital for a routine appointment on June 8 and was given the devastating news later that week.
She was due to give birth on July 13.
Elizabeth said: “On the Monday I went in for a normal growth scan and a consulting appointment where everything was fine.
“Then, at suppertime on Friday I felt something wasn’t right.
“About three hours later, I went in to the hospital to put on the heart monitor, where two midwives couldn’t find anything. We went through for a scan, and that’s when they did confirm that her heart had stopped.
“We went back home, then came back in on Saturday evening as contractions had started, and I gave birth to her on Sunday morning.”
She added: “Rubislaw ward was amazing. We got to stay in until the Monday evening, when we decided to go home.”
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Through SANDS, the hospital gave Elizabeth, Ross and their son Odin, 4, a memory box, containing a collection of items the family can use to remember Bella.
“They take any cuttings of hair, and they’ve got clay footprints and handprints as well,” said Elizabeth, 30.
“You’ve got the name band, keyrings, and little teddies – one teddy comes home with the parent, and one teddy stays with her and gets put inside the coffin.
“They have your own memory card, where throughout your stay with the wee one you can take as many photos as you want on it, and the midwifes took photos as well, for us.
“That’s what SANDS do for you, for stillbirths.”
To show their appreciation, the family planned to raise money for SANDS at Bella’s funeral. However, as current restrictions meant attendance numbers would be limited, they decided it would be better to fundraise online.
From an initial goal of £100, their total currently stands at £3,155.
Elizabeth said: “We didn’t expect how quickly, and how many people we don’t even know have put money towards it.”
Ross, 29, who works as an offshore surgery engineer, added: “It’s brilliant, because it’s something that doesn’t get talked about very often, and it should be because it’s fairly common.
“It’s happening enough that people should be aware of it and talking about it, and they shouldn’t be scared to talk about it.
“What we’ve found is, people are scared to talk to us, because they’re scared they’re going to upset us, but we’re not going to get upset. It helps to talk about it.”