Baby heartbreak for Derry mums

Tina Donnell, left, and Gemma Bradley. (DER4913PG050)
Tina Donnell, left, and Gemma Bradley. (DER4913PG050)

Two Derry mums have made an impassioned plea for more support services to be offered to women told their babies will not survive after birth.

Both Gemma Bradley, who is currently 31 weeks pregnant with her first baby, and Tina Donnell, have faced the devastating news of being told their babies have Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome.

Tina’s baby boy Max died just 33 minutes after his birth in December last year, while Gemma continues to hope for a miracle for her unborn baby girl Lily Rose.

The women said the trauma of receiving the news about their babies was made worse by the lack of information and support available at the time of diagnosis.

Gemma told the ‘Journal’ that on receiving the news that her baby girl’s condition was “incompatible with life”, she was advised to “go and Google” the condition for further information.

She said: “It was just so callous. There are no support groups in Northern Ireland. In our experience a lot of health care professionals are unfamiliar with it.

“And although we have been told our babies are going to die, we were told we were not eligible for any form of bereavement counselling until after they have died,” Gemma said.

The women are planning to work together to raise awareness of Trisomy 18 and to offer support for other parents who find themselves facing such a devastating loss.