A couple who have been raising money for the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in memory of the daughter they lost this week handed over a cheque for almost £3,000.
David and Kelly Lewis from Morecambe tragically lost their daughter Ellissia five years ago after Kelly was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a rare liver and blood clotting disorder that can affect pregnant women.
It’s most likely to occur immediately after the baby is delivered, but can appear any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and in rare cases before 20 weeks.
After initially putting her indigestion and aching shoulders down to the fact she was a little more than three months pregnant, Kelly was eventually diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. Her organs were failing and her life was at risk and her only hope was for doctors to deliver her baby – at just 16 weeks.
Sadly, at such an early stage of pregnancy, Ellissia could not survive.
As a result of Kelly’s case, the NHS altered one of their websites which had previously said HELLP syndrome could only occur at 20 weeks or later.
Kelly said: “When I came out of hospital and started researching it, I saw the NHS said it could not happen before 20 weeks and I am living proof that it can. I was still so poorly for the next few weeks and because it wasn’t a miscarriage and it wasn’t a full-time stillbirth I didn’t know know to feel. Five years on I am still a bit baffled by it all.”
Kelly and David went on to have a son, Jake, who is now three.
David and Kelly used the RLI Bereavement Suite at the RLI at the time and so, in memory of Ellissia and to mark five years since Kelly survived HELLP syndrome, they made the decision to fundraise to give something back to the Maternity Unit. The money will fund renovations to the bereavement suite. The couple presented a cheque for £2,850 to bereavement midwife Celia Sykes, which was raised through events including a 25k walk, running the length of Hadrian’s Wall, the Manchester 10k, Great Swim and an Ultra Marathon.