A family, who sadly lost their non-identical twin son just six hours after he was born, have completed a sponsored walk, raising over £3,000 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, to help other bereaved families.

Eighteen members of the Cutler family, from Cradley Heath, took on two laps of the charity’s 5k ‘Woodland Walk,’ held in aid of its Woodland House Appeal to bring a new standalone bereavement centre to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, for families experiencing the heartbreak of pregnancy or baby loss. It’s a cause close to parents, Sam and Pete Cutler’s, hearts after they lost their baby, Freddie, at just six hours old, seven years ago.

Sam and Pete were overjoyed to find out they were expecting and that their three-year-old son, Charlie, would become a big brother to twins! However, their 12-week scan at their local hospital revealed a complication for the first twin, Freddie – a bladder obstruction - which turned their joy to fear and worry.

They were referred to specialist Birmingham Women’s Hospital for fortnightly scans, where doctors explained that tragically, Freddie’s development would be affected by the obstruction, meaning it was very likely he would take first and final breath in their arms.

They clung onto any hope that both babies would keep on fighting, but at 31 weeks Sam went into premature labour, brought on by Freddie’s worsening condition. When he arrived, he let out a cry that filled Sam and Pete with hope that the doctors had been wrong. The team worked on Freddie and helped him to breathe as his sister, Daisy, reluctantly followed. She wasn’t ready to be born and the shock of her forced birth caused her to stop breathing three times.

Thankfully Daisy stabilised, but after just six hours together, Freddie slipped away.

Sam and Pete were beyond devastated, and while they were able to spend time with Freddie before they eventually said their goodbyes, they found themselves on the maternity ward, with expectant and new mums reminding them of what they had lost. Visiting Daisy whilst she remained in hospital, was further torture, especially when encountering other mums with twins.

Sam said: “Even though we know that the doctors did everything they possibly could for Freddie and the care that Daisy and I received was second to none, leaving hospital without him tore our world apart, especially hearing other babies and seeing other families leaving together. Having a space like Woodland House available to us, away from the busy hospital, would have offered a more comfortable and sympathetic setting at such a heartbreaking time.

“Daisy is nearly eight now, and though she has mild Cerebral Palsy as a result of being born so early, she’s still a little fighter and she was so determined to complete the special walk with the rest of our family to remember Freddie and help support other families who have to endure the same pain we did.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “The Cutler family’s story is truly heartbreaking, but sadly, it’s one of so many that show why Woodland House is so necessary.

“Thanks to the Cutlers, and other brilliant supporters, our Woodland Walk was a huge success and we’re thrilled to say that their incredible fundraising has helped us reach our £3m appeal target, meaning we can begin building our much-needed bereavement centre this summer.”