Liverpool FC, Everton FC and Norwich City FC donate to Thetford couple’s fund-raiser in honour of stillborn son Otis
A Thetford couple who went through stillbirth heartbreak this year have, with the help of three top football teams, started a fund-raiser to help others who will face the same tragedy.
Megan Woods and Craig Pask, who live in Castle Street, went into West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds for a 36-week scan to check on their baby, Otis, but found he had no heartbeat - he was born in the site’s bereavement suite on August 3.
Now to honour Otis’ name, Premier League teams Liverpool FC and Everton FC as well as Championship side Norwich City FC have donated signed items for a trio of prize draws to help the pair raise money for the My WiSH charity, Forever Finley and Abigail's Footsteps.
Megan said: “When we had our scan and the sonographer said that Otis had passed away it was just heart-breaking.
“We were immediately taken to a counselling room and were able to spend some time with Otis in the suite – I had no idea that these supportive provisions were funded mostly by public donations, so now we want to help keep them going for others.”
Sparkle and Co, in Bury St Edmunds, on behalf of Forever Finley made 3D casts of Otis’ hands and feet, My Wish gave a memory box to the pair and Otis was kept in a refrigerated cold cot produced by Abigail’s Footsteps.
At Otis’ funeral on September 25, Megan and Craig raised £835 for Forever Finley, which started their plans to raise funds for the three charities.
Megan said: “Our celebrant, when we were organising Otis’ funeral, said that this is not the natural order – parents burying their children – and that is so true and stuck with me.
“I am 24 and Craig is 26, we should not have been planning our baby’s funeral, we should have been planning his christening and I should have been choosing matching Christmas outfits for him and his two-year-old sister Rosie.
“With one in eight babies stillborn in the UK everyday, which is a terrifying figure, we are well aware will never stop this ever happening to anyone else again, but if we can make sure these provisions are in place and there is enough in the pot to help a lot of others then we have turned Otis’ death into something positive.”
With Craig being a die-hard Liverpool fan the pair contacted the club, who have donated a Joël Matip signed shirt, then their rivals Everton gave a Sean Dyche signed pennant and Norwich City handing over a pennant signed by the team – all of which have been framed.
Megan then set up the inhonourofotis Instagram page with links to the £5-a-ticket prize draws, which all end on January 3, for people to try and win the items.
She said: “When I set up Otis’ Instagram page to promote the fund-raising, the amount of people who contacted me and told me their stories and experiences was unbelievable – I just did not realise just how common it was.
“Also the clubs have been amazing to give us these items and spread the word about Otis to help others who will have stillborn babies – that they want to give back in this way is just incredible.
“It hopefully means the next lot of parents who have to go through what we did will be given the support and items, like us, to remember their baby the best they can.
“We hope, after this, to carry on fund-raising as we wanted to keep Otis’ name alive and for it not to be forgotten.”
The draws, which will end on January 3, can be found on Megan’s inhonourofotis Instagram page.