Legacy of love after baby girl passes away

Madison Barclay after she was born.
Madison Barclay after she was born.

Beautiful baby Madison Barclay was just two days old when she died of meningitis.

Now her devastated parents have given back to the hospital for its support during the most tragic days of their lives.

Melissa and Andy Barclay from Lancaster have raised £7,000 for the neo-natal units at Royal Preston Hospital where doctors battled to save Madison, and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where she was born.

“We really can’t thank the staff enough, we were in a really dark place and they helped us,” said Melissa, 26.

“They suggested things for us to do which we would have never thought of but it really helped and they supported us in registering her death and arranging the funeral.

“We may have lost Madison but we don’t want anybody else to lose their baby and if they do, we wanted to provide things that would help them.”

The money went towards making the parents’ overnight rooms at the hospitals more comfortable. The Barclays also bought a ‘cold cot’ to be used once a baby has died, to give loved ones more time to spend with the child.

“Thanks to the cold cot that the hospital provided we were able to spend two days with Madison after she had passed away,” said Melissa.

“Her gran who lives in Spain also got a chance to see her.

“We’ve also used some of the money to buy diaries for parents and 100 photo frames to be given out to siblings so they can remember their little brother or sister.

“We thought this was important because Madison has two older brothers, Aaron and Andrew.”

The money was raised at two memorial services for Madison and a family fun day at the Trimpell Club in Morecambe.

Her Uncle Sam also raised £500 from fishing competitions.

“Raising the money and buying this equipment has given some meaning to what happened to us and it means Madison will never be forgotten,” said Melissa.

The Barclays are also campaigning for pregnant women to be tested for Group B Strep (GBS).

One in four women carry GBS, the most common cause of severe infection in new borns.

It can lead to meningitis, as happened to Madison.

One in 300 newborns contract GBS infection if no preventative medication is given. Of that number 10% of these sick babies will die.

The number falls to less than one in 6,000 if preventative medication is given.

“Pregnant women in the UK aren’t even told about Group B Strep – nor that they can be tested, nor that simple antibiotics in labour is very effective at stopping these horrid infections in newborn babies,” said Melissa.