THE parents of tragic Megan-Rose Gidley have set up a charity to support families during long stays in hospital and to promote awareness of heart defects.
Baby Megan died in October last year after a 10-month battle for life that saw her and mum Jemima regularly spend long periods in hospital while she underwent treatment.
Mrs Gidley, 30, and her husband Philip, 31, have set up Megan’s Smile to help other families facing unexpected stays in hospital for two weeks or more while their children receive emergency treatment.
“When your child is admitted to hospital in an emergency the last thing you think about is packing your toothbrush,” she said.
“It is easy to spend £300 there in just one week.
“You feel very isolated from the wider world. Just getting a washbag and being able to have a wash can feel like heaven.”
The charity delivers vouchers directly to the wards of hospital-bound families so they can ensure a more comfortable stay and also offers a support service online.
So far six families have received vouchers.
“We have been pretty overwhelmed by how quickly word has spread already,” added Mrs Gidley, who lives in Tamar Close, Ferndown, with her husband and youngsters Rebekah and Taylor.
“We will gain comfort in knowing our daughter’s life was not in vain, and that she will be remembered and live on in our hearts and memories.”
Megan suffered six cardiac arrests shortly after she was born and went on to suffer further arrests as a result of a congenital heart condition, spending only 70 days of her short life at home.
Another purpose of the charity is to raise awareness of heart defects, and they have produced 10,000 leaflets with advice for pregnant women.
The charity’s first fundraising event – a fun day at High Cross Church in Somerford, where Megan’s funeral was held – takes place from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, April 19. Visit facebook .com/meganssmile