A COUPLE whose baby died shortly after birth have said a new bereavement suite to be funded at Salisbury District Hospital after a £100,000 donation will make a huge difference to parents going through what they went through.

Catherine and Robert Stokes’ baby boy Charlie died shortly after birth in December 2008.

During a routine checkup with her midwife Mrs Stokes, from Bulford, mentioned that her baby hadn’t been moving much, and she was sent to the day assessment unit for observation.

There, it was discovered that Charlie was in distress and doctors decided he needed to be delivered immediately by emergency caesarean section.

On the way to the operating theatre, Charlie’s heartbeat faded and was then lost completely.

He was born limp and unresponsive.

Medical staff managed to get him breathing, but the length of time he had been without oxygen had left him severely brain damaged.

Despite the efforts of the dedicated doctors and midwives at the hospital, Charlie died in his father’s arms the following day.

Mrs Stokes, 37, still needed medical care and was cared for on the maternity unit, the hospital having no other place she could stay.

She said: “I was being taken care of, my husband stayed with me, but I couldn’t sleep.

“All I could hear around me was the sound of women in labour and babies crying.

“As I lay there I remember thinking howunfair it all was “Two weeks later we buried Charlie surrounded by family and friends, and as his dad carried his tiny white coffin out of the church to the church yard, my heart broke again.

“There is nothing worse than losing a baby, and I feel that had a bereavement suite been available, even though nothing can take away the pain and tragedy of losing a baby, having somewhere quiet away from it all would have meant so much to us.

“There is nothing more harrowing than to be looked after on the labour ward, constantly being reminded of what you have just lost.”