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Hannah and Dan Burston

In memory of our son Billy

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]Our journey to parenthood has not been an easy one. But here we are, parents to a beautiful boy Billy, who only lived for 23 hours.[/b] A life, no matter how short, is still a life. [b]We are parents, just not in the way we expected. [/b][/p][p]We are trying to raise awareness of two special charities that have really helped us survive very difficult times, SANDS and the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. To do so, we will be walking in memory of Billy over his due date in October. We hope friends, family and strangers alike will help us raise money for these charities so that they can continue to support other parents, and fund much needed research to reduce the number of baby deaths. All money donated will go directly to these charities.[/p][p][u]Our story [/u][/p][p]Early in 2018 we were delighted to discover that we were pregnant. We had both known for some years that we wanted to be parents and were ready! Sadly it wasn't to be, after intense pain and a 3am trip to A&E we discovered the pregnancy was ectopic, in my right fallopian tube. A month later, after trying a 'wait and see' approach followed by Methotrexate injections, I again had intense pain and returned to hospital in an ambulance to have emergency surgery to remove the tube and pregnancy. The physical recovery took much longer than we thought, and as a very active person normally this was particularly hard. [/p][p]One year later we were again over the moon - a positive pregnancy test! The first month was terrifying, waiting for our early pregnancy appointment to check if the baby was in the right place. He was, and we relaxed. Extreme morning sickness followed, but more or less a problem free pregnancy. [/p][p]At 26 weeks pregnant, on Sunday 30th June, I went off to work in hospital (I'm a nurse) feeling a little heavier than usual but not concerned. At my break I sat down for the first time that morning and felt uncomfortable, I started to have some mild cramps. I work with the loveliest team on my ward, we look after each other as well as we care for our patients and I am really proud of how we care for our patients! It was my team mates who insisted I pop up to maternity to check all was well, which to be honest I thought was a waste of time as I wasn't in pain really. I will forever be grateful that I did as I was in early labour and had I not gone up we might not have met our son alive. [/p][p]Nothing could be done to stop Billy being born that day. It was traumatic and shocking and the absolute last thing we had expected. The maternity team were fantastic but Billy did not have a good start in life, he had a tricky intubation and needed resuscitation for some minutes. When stabilised we were transferred to Derriford hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There we were told that Billy had severe bleeding on the brain from the birth which meant that however much medical intervention he had he would almost certainly suffer and have poor quality of life. There wasn't much that could be done and we knew we didn't want our son to suffer so we made the decision to take him off his life support. Before we did we held him skin to skin for many hours. He was so peaceful in our arms and we realised what it was to be parents, to make the best decisions possible for your child. To feel so much love for one tiny person and know that you will love him always. The love we have now is infinitely greater than we had before Billy was born, the world seems more vivid, beautiful and painful. With greater love certainly comes greater sorrow but we are so happy we met our darling Billy. [/p][p]Our close community have shown us so much love and compassion and how our sorrow is also a communal sorrow, with people just wanting to 'do something to help'. So we decided two things: to do a walk in Billy's memory and to fundraise for two amazing charities so that those who wish can do something to help. [/p][p][b]To honour our son we will be spending two weeks over his due date in October walking in the Pyrenees mountains in his memory, sleeping out under the stars in our bivvy bags. We look forward to taking our children walking with us and them learning to love nature as much as we do. We will be carrying Billy with us in our hearts. [/b][/p][p]Please donate to our chosen charities - here's why:[/p][p][url=https://www.sands.org.uk/]https://www.sands.org.uk/[/url][/p][p][b]SANDS (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity) [/b]Early on after the death of Billy we heard about SANDS and the invaluable work they do supporting bereaved parents and promoting research to save babies lives. The work they do helped ensure that amidst the trauma and numbness of such tragedy we were still able to make fond memories with Billy and spend time together as a family, receiving compassionate care and support from the hospital. [/p][p]For example: [/p][p]They offer free support packs and memory boxes in hospital to bereaved parents.[/p][p]They give free bereavement support to anyone affected by the death of a baby, including local support groups, online community and helpline. [/p][p]Every year SANDS train more than 2,500 health care professionals to improve their bereavement care skills.[/p][p]In 2018 SANDS funded 4 new bereavement suites and improved 5 more in hospitals across the UK. This double bedroom allowed us invaluable time and space to be together as a family away from the cries of newborn babies and other new parents. [/p][p]In 2018 SANDS funded 4 new research studies aimed at better understanding causes of baby deaths. Sadly in the UK a baby dies every 90 minutes. SANDS is dedicated to reducing this number by 20% by 2020. [/p][p][url=https://ectopic.org.uk/]https://ectopic.org.uk/[/url][/p][p][b]The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust [/b]- We had never heard of ectopic pregnancy before last year, and we were so grateful for the information and support given to us by the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust at a very confusing and difficult time. [/p][p]It affects 1 in 80 pregnancies in the UK and women who suffer have to face the physical trauma of major invasive treatment, their own mortality, the impact on their future fertility and the sad loss of losing their baby all very quickly. This can be a very frightening and distressing experience.[/p][p]The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust believes that the deaths and trauma associated with ectopic pregnancy should be prevented or minimised and seeks to support women and their families through this difficult period of their lives. The Charity also provides Information, Education and Support to medical professionals who treat early pregnancy complications.[/p][p][b]We would love to give back to these two charities who have supported us so that they can continue to support parents in years to come. [/b][/p][p][b]Thank you [/b][/p]
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Oct 28, 2019

Lesley Buttress

Sent with love xx

Oct 9, 2019


Sending lots of love x


Oct 9, 2019


£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Oct 8, 2019



Oct 6, 2019

Davy Thornbury

Oct 6, 2019

Mel and Stu

With so much love to you both, and to Billy. Xxx

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Oct 6, 2019



£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Oct 4, 2019

Ann Sallnow

A great cause & memory of your beautiful boy

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Oct 3, 2019


£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Oct 3, 2019


Hi Hannah & Dan, this was raised at a talk I gave this week. Love to you both, Ellen