A Dudley family who pulled on their walking boots to complete a charity walk for the third year in a row, has raised over £1,450 to support bereavement services at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, in memory of their baby son. 

Laura and Ross, along with their daughters Lileigh (10) and Lilly (10) and son, Archie (seven), took on Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s 5k In-Memory Woodland Walk to remember their baby, Oscar, who was sadly stillborn at the hospital in 2021.  

Laura was 18-weeks-pregnant with Oscar when she and Ross found out Oscar had 22Q11.2 Duplication Syndrome, which meant he had an extra copy of a chromosome in his make-up. This condition led to complications and scans showed that there was a build-up of fluid on Oscar’s left lung. 

Laura and Ross were devastated by the news, and though they had been referred to the Fetal Medicine Centre at Birmingham Women’s Hospital for specialist care, the prognosis for Oscar wasn’t good and deep down, Laura and Ross knew their baby boy wasn’t going to make it. 

Two months before Oscar's due date, Laura went into early labour. They made their way to Birmingham Women’ Hospital where sadly, Oscar was stillborn. Laura and Ross spent two days making memory with Oscar in the Abby Suite, the hospital’s dedicated bereavement suite, and although they felt safe and welcome, they were aware of all the new life entering the world on the ward around them and felt they should leave to be with their other children and break the devastating news.  

Later that year, Laura and Ross signed up to take part Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s very first Woodland Walk at Lickey Hills Country Park, in aid of the Woodland House Appeal which would see a new, purpose-built bereavement centre bought to the hospital, to support bereaved families just like theirs. They knew it was the perfect way to remember their little boy and help other families going through the agony they knew only too well. 

Laura said: “When Ross and I signed up to the first Woodland Walk, we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew we wanted to take part for Oscar but we were worried it might be too sad for our children, so went along with the adults in our family. It was such a beautiful and special event and while it was hard for us that year when everything was so raw, we knew we wanted to come back and bring the kids. 

“Lileigh, Lilly and Archie have taken part with us ever since and we talk about Oscar as we walk. It’s so important for us to keep Oscar’s memory alive, and the Woodland Walk is the perfect way to do that and in doing so, it’s nice to know that we’re supporting the work of the incredible bereavement team who supported us through such a hard time in our lives.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said:Our Woodland Walks started out to raise funds to make Woodland House a reality at our hospital but now it continues for families like Laura and Ross’ as a special way of remembering loved ones, and we’re so glad they’ve chosen to remember Oscar with us. 

“As well as a walk through the gorgeous park, our many of our families made precious dedications by placing leaves on our In Memory Trees and our new ‘memory making’ pebble painting activity helped get children involved in this truly special event. We'd like to thank Laura and Ross and every single one of our supporters who joined us to make our Woodland Walk such a memorable day.