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Mum's cuddle cot plea so grieving parents can spend time with babies

By Claire Williamson

A woman whose baby daughter died 40 minutes after birth has told of her mission to change the length of precious time parents get with their child.

Leanne Campbell from Bangor was heartbroken when she was informed her baby had Edwards' syndrome just hours before giving birth.

The syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18, is a genetic condition and affects around one in 3,000 to 5,000 births.

She found out on December 30, 2013 when she went to the hospital for the result of tests. She then went into labour when she was 33 weeks pregnant.

Kacie was born at 12.05pm that day and died at 12.45pm, weighing just 1lb 10oz.

Leanne said that her baby was "put on her and left to die".

Just the next day Leanne was faced with the harrowing task of picking out the coffin for her little girl.

She said it all happened very quickly - even now the trauma of the ordeal hasn't fully hit her.

"It's awful but that's the way it is," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

This is why she is fundraising to get a cuddle cot for the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, to give parents more time with their baby until they are ready to say goodbye.

A cuddle cot is an item of medical equipment that is like a refrigerated Moses basket. It allows the baby to stay with its parents so it doesn't have to be taken away immediately.

The 36-year-old added: "You can have weeks until you feel ready to let go."

Leanne had no idea about the equipment when she was going through her ordeal.

"For me, I didn't really have a chance. I didn't have any time to think or anything. When I was told what she had, I was already in labour. I walked out the door with a memory box and then the next day I was picking coffins.

"In the space of four days I had delivered Kacie and buried her as well."

Leanne said she knows other mothers who have used cuddle cots, and they had more than two weeks with their child.

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