Trek to Honour Finn

Guest post by Lauren Holden, Finn’s Mum

My husband, Paul, and I were so thrilled to be expecting our first baby. We were both in our forties and excited about introducing our child to all the wonderful people, places and creatures in the world. The nursery was ready and we had spent months choosing the absolute best for our baby.Read More »

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Team Hayley 2015

Guest post by Kara Smith who is participating in this year’s Bridge to Brisbane

In May 2013 our second daughter, Hayley, was stillborn. It felt like our worlds came to a halt and souls were shattered. My husband and I have always been overweight but started making changes when our first daughter was on the way. However, after losing Hayley we sort of rebelled against the universe through junk food and put back on some of the weight we had lost. We decided we couldn’t keep going like that, so for all of our children and our health we again decided to make a change.Read More »

Volunteer Spotlight – Bev Homel

Bev is another of Sands Queensland’s long time members and volunteers who has contributed an enormous amount of her time and skills, helping to shape Sands into the organisation that it is. Her hard work and dedication to ensuring Sands Queensland is a supportive place for bereaved parents has been her greatest gift to Sands in memory of her daughter Rosalie and son Andrew.Read More »

Volunteer Spotlight – Marion Grimmett

Marion is one of our long standing Sands members, who has been volunteering with us for about 30 years and fondly refers to herself as ‘the old Sands bag’. Of course she is nothing of the sort. Marion brings her energy and enthusiasm for getting a job done every volunteer day at Sands House and is always a willing listener for new parents and volunteers.Read More »

A New Butterfly at Harvey Bay

Guest post by Jodie Tangikara

My name is Jodie Tangikara and I am now the Butterfly Coordinator for Hervey Bay Hospital.

Let me tell you a little about my loss and how I ended up here. On the 22nd September 2012 I delivered my son at 19 weeks 5 days gestation after a 32 hour labour. Marcus was beautiful and only 17cm long and weighing 135g. The following day I was discharged from hospital to go home to my four beautiful children. Twenty four hours later I was placed back into hospital due to lack of blood in my body. After a night in hospital and three bags of blood I was right to go home. Four days later I was rushed back to hospital due to heavy bleeding. Some placenta had been left behind, which caused my body to get a infection. I was taken to surgery for a curet only to flat line on the table due to major blood loss. After two minutes of nurses trying to bring me back I finally had a heartbeat again. I spent the next four days in ICU to be closely monitored. Once I was given the all clear I left hospital to go pick up my sons ashes and go home to my family.

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A few months passed and I felt lost and needed to do something. I started a petition to get all babies recognised from the state government and after 18 months I finally accomplished it. Now the Queensland Births Deaths and Marriages issues In Loving Memory  Certificates for babies under 20 weeks gestation. I have also raised money for the SCN unit at Hervey Bay Hospital and money for a Cuddle Cot for the Maternity Ward.

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I ended up becoming a volunteer for Sands Queensland after speaking to Nicole the Sands Queensland Committee President at the In Loving Memory Certificate launch. Knowing what a difference this beautiful organisation does I wanted to be a part of it and help families in need. I look forward to moving forward with sands and hope I can make a difference.

 

You can help support Jodie at Marcus’s Butterfly

 

To learn more about the Sands Queensland Memory Bags, please visit our Website HERE and if you would like to know more about how to become a Butterfly Coordinator in your area, please email Lyndell at events@sandsqld.org.au

 

 

The Voice of Experience

Guest post by Janelle Tsockallos, Parent Supporter with Sands Queensland

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My name is Janelle.  My husband and I have been Sands members since early 2005 when we experienced the loss or our twins. We were so grateful to Sands for the support and friendship we received in the following years.

In 2008, the state co-ordinator asked if I would attend the Listener’s Training Workshop. I was honoured she felt that I could be helpful to other bereaved parents and the Sands organisation. I have been on the telephone listener’s roster for five years now and I find it to be a very rewarding role. To be able to offer support to bereaved parents is a way of honouring our own babies.

Whilst we are not professional counsellors, volunteer listeners are all bereaved parents who have completed a training workshop. Many people can offer you sympathy after the loss of your baby, but a Sands listener can offer you empathy. Whilst the circumstances of our baby’s loss may be different to yours, there are many common aspects of the grief journey we all travel.

Telephone support is available through the 1300 0 sands (1300 072 637) support line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you feel the need to talk to someone or need support, do not hesitate to call. You are never wasting our time. Every call is important. If a listener is not available when you phone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Listeners are not judgemental, we are here to listen and support.

It is a big step for some people to reach out for help and pick up the phone to make that initial call to 1300 0 Sands support line. Many bereaved parents and family members find it such a relief that they can talk to and open up to someone who understands what they are thinking and feeling during one of the most shattering experiences of their lives.

Remember you are not alone. Sands is only a phone call away.