A donation has been made to a neo-natal unit in memory of a young mum who died in childbirth.
Misbourne Freemasons Lodge, which meets in Beaconsfield, recently donated £1,300 to the neonatal unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in memory of Claire Hickman.
She was diagnosed with a rare and virulent form of leukaemia whilst pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl, Evelyn (Evie as she is now known) just a few hours before she passed away.
Evie was three weeks premature and immediately taken into the neonatal unit of the hospital.
Claire was the partner of George Harman, a relative of Martin Richardson, a member of Misbourne Lodge.
A spokesman for the lodge said: “The nurses on the unit, aware of the trauma that George was also suffering, ensured he was as close as possible to little Evie. Over the next few weeks they looked after George with care, compassion and understanding, whilst also nurturing his tiny young daughter.
“They provided him with a bed, food and clean clothes in a room adjacent to Evie, but vastly more importantly, they showed George how to feed, change, wash and care for his baby girl until they were both ready to go home.”
Sister Lisa Caldwell of the unit said: “Having a premature baby can be a distressing time for any parent, but to lose your partner at the same time is beyond comprehension for most of us. As part of the welfare of little Evie, it was most important that she was able to bond with her father, and we were able to provide a safe and secure environment for that to happen. We are extremely grateful that the members of Misbourne Lodge have donated this money to the unit, which will help us to continue to provide outstanding care for our little patients.”
Martin added: “We couldn’t thank the members of the neo-natal team enough for looking after a close family member in such tragic circumstances. The family was distraught at the loss of Claire, but the care and kindness the nurses at Stoke Mandeville showed George was such that I wanted to repay them in a positive way. I approached my Lodge and they were also keen to help. We were extremely pleased to donate £1,300 to the unit and it demonstrates one of the varied ways that we, as Buckinghamshire Freemasons use our core values of friendship, integrity and charity to benefit the local community and underline our commitment to assisting families and children. Even to this day the neo-natal ward staff still keeps in touch with George and Evie to see how they are doing.”