Wirral mum hopes to give grieving parents the chance to say goodbye with charity fundraiser

Wirral Globe: Nicki and Kenny Almond, pictured with children Leighton and Louis, hope to do their son proud by providing Arrowe Park Hospital with cuddle cots. Nicki and Kenny Almond, pictured with children Leighton and Louis, hope to do their son proud by providing Arrowe Park Hospital with cuddle cots.

A HEARTBROKEN couple who lost their stillborn son in October are hoping to give others the chance of spending valuable time with their children before they have to say goodbye.

Nicki and Kenny Almond, from Eastham, hope to raise as much money as possible for Arrowe Park Hospital’s delivery suite after they lost their 21-week-old son, Leon Kenneth, on Sunday, October 27, last year.

Thanks to the Wirral hospital’s care and support, Nicki and Kenny were able to spend 15 hours with Leon due to a mechanism called a cuddle cot.

Used in a Moses basket so it does not look clinical, the cuddle cot keeps babies cool for longer, enabling parents to have their baby at their bedside or take them home to grieve and say goodbye.

Now, Nicki - who is also mum to three-year-old Leighton and step-mum to six-year-old Louis - hopes to raise the much-needed funds to buy Arrowe Park Hospital more cots by holding a fundraising night in Bromborough on Saturday, February 22.

“The idea of holding the fundraising night came from the comfort of spending 15 hours with our precious Leon before we had to say goodbye,” said 25-year-old Nicki, who found out Leon had died at her 20-week scan.

“The cuddle cot that was available to us was what I believe helped with our grieving process.

“To be able to spend 15 hours being able to take photographs, cuddle Leon, make memories and for our close family to meet him was so special.”

It was after looking at stillbirth statistics that Nicki decided she wanted to help other families in a similar situation.

She said: “If I can help them to spend some quality time with their son or daughter then I feel I will have done my son proud.

“What started off as a small event has now snowballed and we have received so many amazing prizes and gifts towards our auction and raffle – it’s amazing.”

Nicki’s youngster, Manda, is also taking part, opting to shave her head on the night.

“Manda is very close to Leighton and could not wait to be an aunty again so when she heard we were holding a fundraiser, she wanted to help,” explained Nicki.

As well as this month’s event, Nicki and Kenny are also planning to hold a second fundraiser later this year.

“We are so thankful for everything,” added Nicki.

“Even if people can donate just 50p or £1 to help us raise our target, it could help us to buy Arrowe Park delivery suite some much-needed cots for their department.”

The fundraiser - which is for over 18s only - takes place at the OC Club at Knockaloe Hall in Bromborough on Saturday, February 22.

Tickets cost £5 and can be bought by emailing Nicki on nicki_b_2004@hotmail.com

To donate, visit gofundme.com/LeonAlmondFundRaising

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