The Cleft Lip And Palate Association is a charity that is very close to my heart as Frankie had a very severe cleft lip and palate. I do what I can to help and promote CLAPA and what they do, and this weekend their Happy Faces Redditch group is holding a fun today to raise funds for CLAPA. I can’t make it but I thought I would share the information in case anyone reading this who is from the area fancies popping along and supporting this very worthy cause.
I was 33 weeks pregnant when Frankie was born sleeping, and my heart was broken, he would have been my first baby and I wanted him and loved him so much. Through the devastation of losing him and leading up to him being born sleeping I had absolutely amazing care, support and compassion at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. I have been on a journey of trying to conceive since I was 28, and Frankie was the closest I got to being a Mum. Throughout all the years and all the miscarriages I had the care and support I received was always excellent.
Recently the media has portrayed a disturbing picture of our NHS system in decline, of overcrowded hospitals, A&E departments under considerable pressure and people not getting the treatment or care they deserve. There hasn’t been a week gone by without some stories in the press about how bad things are in our hospitals, and in my area news came of 4 senior consultants resigning at once to go to hospitals in Warwickshire.
So the Chairman of the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, Harry Turner, went on to BBC Hereford and Worcester last Friday morning to answer calls from the public about the crisis in our hospitals. The whole hour however was devoted to nothing but bad news stories, and while I agree that priority should be given to those and if someone has had bad treatment they have the right to talk about it, I always thought that the BBC was meant to be fair and impartial, and that they would at least give a couple of views about the good treatment that people have had.
My husband’s Dad had some bad treatment in hospital last year as they misdiagnosed the complications and organ failure he had as a result of type 2 diabetes and said outright it was because he hadn’t looked after himself, when in fact it wasn’t the diabetes at all it he was riddled with cancer and it was completely missed. So I’ve seen both sides of the coin, and my father in law didn’t do himself any favours because to be honest he didn’t watch his diabetes and ate whatever he wanted, so it was obvious that those conclusions would be drawn and I don’t blame the staff or the hospital in the least.
We are SO lucky to have the NHS, having had treatment in the States and the massive bill handed to me afterwards (I did of course have appropriate insurance) it does make you realise how good it is that we have access to the NHS system. Of course it is not perfect, it is run by human beings and humans aren’t perfect, and I think a lot could be done to improve it, but it just would have been nice to have had a balanced view which is what the BBC is supposed to provide. I’m sure that if we suddenly didn’t have the NHS, or moved over to the American system, everyone would be up in arms about it.
The link to the programme is here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02jds6k – it will probably only be up for a few days but have a listen and see what you think.
I hope the staff who are working their absolute socks off in extremely challenging circumstances are resilient enough to keep going despite all the media coverage and interviews like this. I also applaud Mr Harry Turner for holding his own so well throughout the interview.
If you want to read about just how many people have had good treatment have a look at my friend’s blog – www.revdavidsouthall.com. Rev’d David Southall has been a great friend and given me tons of support since I lost my Frankie and he writes a blog dedicated to “Good News” at the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust. Have a look at this alongside the stories in the media, and then decide.
We’re sure that some of you have noticed that for the last couple of months it has been quiet on the Frankie’s Legacy front, but we have been working very hard behind the scenes as we have made a decision to merge into another charity called Towards Tomorrow Together. This charity is based in Somerset but has a very similar range of charitable aims as Frankie’s Legacy, and so it makes perfect sense to merge the work of Frankie’s Legacy into Towards Tomorrow Together and operate under one banner with a West Midlands branch.
Where Will Donations Go That Have Been Raised To Date?
All donations raised to date will be given to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s delivery suite to purchase equipment such as comfortable chairs and items to help all parents to be as they use the 10 delivery suite rooms. We have already donated towards some chairs that are already in situ in some of the delivery suite rooms.
How Will The Merger Happen?
Once all the donations raised to date are handed over to the delivery suite at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital the work that Frankie’s Legacy does will merge into Towards Tomorrow Together. We will of course put out announcements about this and send information to the local press.
We will still be working hard to raise awareness of pregnancy loss, stillbirth and rare chromosome disorders, as well as fundraising for memory and keepsake boxes for parents that have lost a much loved and much wanted baby, to provide support services and respite care for parents who need it, and the charitable aims of Frankie’s Legacy will merge into Towards Tomorrow Together. We will also be working on The 2015 Butterfly Awards, which is organised by Mel Scott who is also the Founder of Toward’s Tomorrow Together, and these will take place in Worcester this year at the Bank House Hotel.
Will Any Elements Of Frankie’s Legacy Remain?
Some elements of Frankie’s Legacy will remain, for example, the blog -www.frankieslegacy.co.uk. The social media channels on Facebook and Twitter will remain, because they will be a mechanism for us to promote the blog and things in the press/media about stillbirth and early pregnancy loss. Lisa is also writing a book called “Frankie’s Legacy: Love, Loss, Grief & Recovery” and will be able to use the website/blog and social media channels to be able to promote the book. Any proceeds from the book will be donated to Towards Tomorrow Together.
What Will Happen To The Frankie’s Legacy Charity Website?
The charity website www.frankieslegacy.org.uk and resources on it will merge into the Towards Tomorrow Together website. All Frankie’s Legacy email addresses will remain for a period of time in case anything comes through that is relevant for Towards Tomorrow Together.
What About The Support Group And “Everlasting Footprints”?
The everlasting footprints website www.everlastingfootprints.org.uk will become part of Towards Tomorrow Together. There are no support meetings in Worcester at the moment, but that may change in the future. The website will remain online should anyone need or benefit from the resources on it.
The online magazine we were hoping to launch – www.everlastingfootprintsmag.com – is on hold for the time being. If it does get picked up again in the future we hope it will be part of our work with Towards Tomorrow Together.
Why Toward’s Tomorrow Together?
It was a natural choice for us as we were given a memory box from this charity when we left the Worcestershire Royal Hospital without our precious son Frankie. We had to walk out of there without our much wanted and much loved son but the box gave us a tiny bit of comfort. We cannot think of a more deserving charity to merge the work of Frankie’s Legacy into, and we can’t wait to start making a positive difference with them.
All of us at Frankie’s Legacy cannot thank you all enough for all your support and donations, it has meant the world to us since we lost Frankie and every penny will make a HUGE difference to the delivery suite rooms at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to help parents to be feel and be more comfortable when giving birth to their babies.
Once the migration has completed we hope that you will consider supporting Towards Tomorrow Together, there will be lots of fundraising events to help raise money for memory boxes, respite services and support for parents who have lost a baby through stillbirth and we will be working with Lisa Clarke and Mel Scott, the Founder of Toward’s Tomorrow Together, to build the West Midlands branch and hopefully also raise the profile of the charity nationally.
If anyone has any questions about any of this, please feel free to email us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer them. Over the next few weeks announcements will be made as to the progress of the merger and we will send out further updates.
With thanks and very best wishes,
From all of us at Frankie’s Legacy xxx