Parents' gruelling challenge in honour of Friarage Hospital midwives

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A WOMAN has cycled 325 miles to thank midwives at a threatened maternity unit for their care and compassion when she lost her twins.

Bethany Morris, from East Sussex, was five-and-a-half months pregnant with twin girls when she and her husband decided to take a last holiday in the Northallerton area before the babies arrived.

She went into premature labour and was rushed to the Friarage Hospital. Despite the best efforts of midwives at the Friarage Hospital the two babies, Harriet and Felicity, were stillborn on July 2 this year.

Mrs Morris and her husband, Steve, say they were moved by the care and kindness provided by midwives at the Friarage Hospital.

That and their concern over the proposed downgrade of maternity services at the hospital, prompted their decision to cycle more than 300 miles to Northallerton from their East Sussex home.

The Born Silently Cycle Challenge raised £23,500 for the two charities, Tommy’s and Tamba, both of which provide research and counselling for those who have suffered miscarriages and stillbirths.

The couple and three friends cycled into Northallerton yesterday (Saturday, November 17) afternoon, where they were greeted by a welcoming party at Northallerton Town Hall by the mayor, Councillor Jack Dobson and Save the Friarage supporters.

They also met the midwives who had helped them.

“It’s a special place and a special hospital,” said Mrs Morris.

“Steve and I can’t imagine what that day would have been like if that hospital hadn’t been there and we would have had to drive all the way to Middlesbrough.

“The midwives are such lovely people. Three of them came to the funeral of our daughters. They were fantastic.”

The Save the Friarage campaign also donated £230 from a cake sale.

Mrs Morris said they had been overwhelmed by people’s kindness and donations along the way, which kept them going. They had no prior experience of cycling long distances.

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