CHAS appeal: Kirkcaldy couple back Christmas fundraiser after loss of baby daughter

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A Kirkcaldy couple are backing this year’s CHAS festive fundraising appeal after having support from the Scottish hospice for their baby daughter who passed away in the summer.

Gemma Munro and Andrew Couper lost their beloved baby daughter, Georgia on June 7.

Georgia was born on April 28 and spent most of her short life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Edinburgh before finally moving to Rachel House in Kinross, which is run by CHAS, where she received dedicated end of life care.

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She had bleeds on the brain after being born extremely premature at 25 weeks and six days, and she had to be put on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine and then a ventilator to help support her breathing and lung development.

Pictured are Kirkcaldy couple Gemma Munro and Andrew Couper with their baby daughter Georgia in the garden of Rachel House hospice in Kinross.Pictured are Kirkcaldy couple Gemma Munro and Andrew Couper with their baby daughter Georgia in the garden of Rachel House hospice in Kinross.
Pictured are Kirkcaldy couple Gemma Munro and Andrew Couper with their baby daughter Georgia in the garden of Rachel House hospice in Kinross.

Georgia began to show some encouraging signs of improvement and was also moved off the CPAP to high flow oxygen supply.

Unfortunately, further tests results showed she had contracted E.coli Meningitis and the tiny tot had to be rushed back to intensive care.

Gemma, 29, said: “We continued to remain positive that Georgia would fight this infection and overcome this because she was our little warrior who didn’t give up easily!

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“Doctors started her on the strongest antibiotics to fight off the meningitis, and she went back onto her CPAP to help support her breathing as her little body was fighting this awful infection."

Rachel House in Kinross.Rachel House in Kinross.
Rachel House in Kinross.

Sadly, the meningitis spread to the tot’s brain and when the antibiotics weren’t successful in fighting the infection, Gemma and Andrew, 29, were given the devastating news that nothing more could be done for their baby girl.

This was when CHAS stepped in to offer the family support.

Evelyn Rodger,CHAS’ Diana Children’s Nurse, and Emma McAuley, Neonatal Support Senior Staff Nurse provided support throughout Georgia’s journey both at the hospital and at Rachel House.

Gemma said: “In the Neonatal unit we would see Emma and Evelyn regularly, always asking how we were both doing, asking about Georgia and just showing their support. Emma made footprints and some other cards for Georgia’s grandparents.

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“Doctors asked if we had any requests and we asked for Georgia to meet all her close family.

"We were given the opportunity that many families may miss out on due to their circumstances, to go to Rachel House.

“When there, we finally got Georgia all to ourselves and we were able to make the most of our final hours together.”

CHAS is launching its festive fundraising appeal this week, urging people to support the families of terminally ill children this Christmas.

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Gemma explained why fundraising for the charity is so important.

She said: “We went through the worst time in our life but it was made a little easier having the right support around us.

We returned for a visit to Rachel House on Georgia’s due date and it was nice for us to go back to somewhere Georgia had been, it brought some peace.

“We are so grateful to the staff at the Neonatal Unit for taking care of Georgia and also to Rachel House for making us feel so welcome. Rachel House went above and beyond to make sure Georgia’s final hours were peaceful for both her and us as parents.

"We will be forever grateful to CHAS.”

To make a donation visit: CHAS 2021 festive appeal

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