A ‘kind, caring and compassionate’ bereavement support midwife from Worcestershire Royal Hospital has been nominated for a national award by a grateful family who benefited from her care following the loss of their baby.
Ashlea Gormley has been nominated in the Midwife of the Year category in the annual Butterfly Awards, which celebrates the survivors and champions of baby loss.
She was nominated by Joey, who described Ashlea as ‘an absolute gem’ after she cared for her following the loss of her baby following a heartbreaking diagnosis of Edwards’ Syndrome – a rare but serious genetic condition that causes a wide range of severe medical problems which cause most babies to die before or shortly after being born.
Joey and Chris, from Worcester, said: “Ashlea was an instant ray of light in what was a very dark situation and made myself and Chris feel safe and well looked after. She was there at the beginning of the most awful day and managed to make it back just after I had delivered our baby. She is so, so fantastic at what she does and throughout this process, nothing has ever felt too much trouble – in fact, even though this is ‘her job’ we have always felt like she wanted to help in every way she can’’.
“She has visited us at home a number of times to see how we were getting on, has been at the end of the phone every couple of days and collected our baby’s ashes for us because we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. I know I can text her at any time to seek advice and positive words – and I don’t think she knows just how comforting that can be at times of such sadness, angst and grief.”
Joey also praised the way Ashlea listened to feedback on her experience – already putting things in place to ensure other families going through the same journey are more comfortable.
She added: “Although some days can be extremely tough, I can’t help but let myself imagine a happy ending in this horrible situation we have found ourselves in, that one day, if we are lucky enough, at the end of this journey, Ashlea will deliver our Rainbow baby.”
Ashlea said: “I am so touched that Joey has taken the time and effort to nominate me for this award at what is such a difficult and painful time. It’s always lovely to receive kind words from the families that I support, and I am very proud to be part of a team that makes a positive difference at such a hard time.”
Members of the public are invited to vote for their winners in the Butterfly Awards. To vote for Ashlea visit https://finleysfootprints.com/AshleaG
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday, October 19.
Notes to editors: Around 80 families a year will receive the support of the Maternity Bereavement Team at Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust. The Trust has two specialist Bereavement Suites at Worcestershire Royal Hospital which are available for all parents who suffer the loss of their baby – whether through the tragedy of a stillbirth, miscarriage after 12 weeks, medical termination or the loss of their baby pre-birth.
The rooms are a quiet and tranquil space, away from the noise and bustle of the nearby maternity ward. Families can stay as long as necessary to ensure they have precious time with their baby and are able to make lifelong memories.