When carer Amy, 19 and her partner Scot tragically lost their baby, Mia, to Strep B in May this year the sad news rocked the home. But Amy could never have envisaged the impact that tiny Mia would have on her community and the legacy she would leave.
The whole home was shocked and saddened by the loss of Amy’s baby. Amy is a proud representative of Goodson Lodge alongside her twin sister Katie and her Mother Alison, who are also part of the team. Their loss rippled through the home. As the nature and circumstances of Mia’s untimely death unravelled, colleagues they confided in were shocked to learn that Strep B is common, testable and preventable with IV antibiotics, yet it is not routinely tested for. Many of us had never heard of Strep B despite so many of us being experienced mothers of multiple children.
The team at the home wanted to help but really didn’t know how. There is nothing of significance that can be said to a grieving mother that in any way serves as condolence; any attempt to do so felt clichéd and futile. Words could never bring baby Mia back and wouldn’t take away the pain of Amy and her family. However, the team discovered that there was something they could do. They could give Amy a focus and create a legacy for Mia. Even at a few hours old Mia could have a massive impact on the future of many other mothers and babies, and so the mission became clear. The home had a platform and they intended to use it for Amy.
In June, after some sensitive and thoughtful discussions, Amy bravely decided that she would go public about her trauma to let Mia’s story be known and the team at Goodson Lodge supported Amy in achieving this.
A plan was hatched to pedal 100 miles on static bikes over two days (19th and 20th June): the first leg at Goodson Lodge and the second leg at The Shires Shopping Centre, supported by team members, family and well-wishing residents. The team intended to raise money for GBSS (Group B Strep Support) and raise awareness with leaflets and flyers provided by the charity.
Day one was hot and sunny, yet Amy’s friends, colleagues and family dutifully took to the bikes and pedalled like their lives depended on it. With precision timing they lined up, one after another taking 15-minute slots, or multiples thereof. Residents enjoyed pedalling along, flanked by carers donning brightly coloured sweat bands, brandishing the OSJCT logo: a symbol of solidarity in technicolour. By the end of the day the team realised that they had drastically underestimated themselves; having exceeded 300 miles they also had to reset their fundraising target from the original £350 to a much more ambitious £700. Supporters were kept updated though the home’s Facebook page: @GoodsonLodge, with hashtags #PedallingforMia and #Togetherwearestronger.
On day two the team arrived at the shopping centre with a secret weapon in tow. The firefighters of Trowbridge Fire Station. Leaving the team to hand out leaflets and shake buckets, the firefighters annihilated the morning session. The conversations were overwhelming: meeting pregnant women with Strep B, new and more experienced mums who had never heard of Strep B and people who knew exactly what it was and were ready to drive their hands deep into their pockets. The day ended with a massive 765 miles on the clock and more than £600 in the buckets.
According to GBSS, £50 allows them to help a family in crisis and £100 allows them to train health care professionals. To date Goodson Lodge estimates that it has raised £1500, with sponsorship still coming in. A national newspaper has taken exclusivity of Amy’s story and the Just Giving page
(https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-jones162 ) will remain active until that piece hits the press in the next week or so. The charity has been following the team’s progress and is thrilled with the funds raised.
For Amy the support does not stop there. Amy’s family is now an awful lot bigger. #TeamGoodson is very proud to join hands to support each other. Amy’s colleagues and the people she has touched through her story will be richer for sharing a small part of her journey with her and Amy knows this. But more importantly for her, a legacy has been left for Mia. If teams in 15 hospitals can be reached from this fundraising, then many more tiny lives could be saved, all because of this very special little girl and her very brave family
Read more about Amy's story in our full press release.