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Memory boxes for bereaved parents to be presented to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital

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Special memory boxes to help parents come to terms with the loss of a child will be donated to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant by the 2Wish Upon A Star charity this week (Tuesday June 3rd).

DSCF1297.JPGRhian Burke from Miskin near Llantrisant, who founded the charity after her baby son George died at the hospital in February 2012 wants to ensure that every emergency department in South Wales offers bereavement counselling and support to families immediately after the death of their loved one.

The memory boxes contain a camera, organza bags for curls, notebook and pen, candle, handprint kit and cuddly elephants for the parents and siblings to treasure. The charity will also be donating a box of babygros’, pyjamas and white blankets to the unit’s staff.

The visit will be the first time Mrs Burke has been back to the hospital since the death of her son and subsequent death of her husband.

“In February 2012 my son, George, passed away a week after his first birthday. Five days later the unimaginable happened. I lost my husband and best friend Paul. Understandably, coming to terms with this loss has been very tough emotionally, both for myself and for our two young children. However, since February 2012 I have gained strength from the idea of raising money and with the help of three special people established the charity 2 Wish Upon A Star.”

Rhian believes that immediate support following the death of a child is vital and wants all hospitals to provide a comprehensive bereavement service.

“The bereavement process starts immediately and therefore, the first few minutes and hours need to be handled with compassion,” said Rhian.

“Having these small things in place in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital means the world to the charity but also to my family. Knowing we have this opportunity to hopefully help other parents in both George's and his Daddy's memory means the world.”

Allison Williams, chief executive of Cwm Taf University Health Board said:

“Rhian is one of those people in life where the word inspirational isn’t enough to describe what she has achieved. I would personally like to thank her for all her work in raising awareness about bereavement support for families. We are delighted to accept the memory boxes for the Royal Glamorgan Hospital after they were well received at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr. Although we already have relatives’ rooms in both our hospitals’ Emergency Departments, we are working towards providing larger bereavement suites for families.”

Source: Cwm Taf University Health Board

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