Couple Raise Funds for a Cuddle Cot in Memory of Their Daughter Penelope

A couple have raised more than £12,000 in memory of their baby daughter Penelope to help support other parents who have experienced the death of a baby.

Staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital supported Melissa and Ryan Hooper by offering them the use of a ‘cuddle cot’ so they could take Penelope home for a few days and let other family members meet her. It was a precious time they say and was a great comfort to them.

Ryan Hooper explained: “Although this has been a devastating and heart-breaking time for all of us, the desire to do something in Penelope‘s memory has been palpable. When Penelope was born sleeping on 23rd February 2023 the staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital provided us with a cuddle cot to use. This preserved our gorgeous girl and gave us priceless and everlasting memories and the opportunity to spend time with our daughter.

“The cuddle cot brought peace and comfort to Melissa and I and it is something we will be forever grateful for to the team at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for giving us the opportunity to share these moments and bring our beautiful Penelope home.”

Wanting to raise money for another cuddle cot the couple set a £2,000 fundraising target which was reached almost immediately so they set the bar higher. So far the total is standing at £12,700. More than 20 family and friends undertook the Kilt Walk and many of Ryan’s work colleagues also donated to their Just Giving page.

Ryan is already in training for his next fundraising event, cycling next year from Lands End to John O’Groats. Their amazing fundraising efforts has not only helped purchase an additional cuddle cot, but the remaining funds will also be split between NHS Forth Valley’s Bereavement Service in the Women and Children’s Unit and the Spiritual Care Centre.

He said “All donations will go directly to support grieving families like us in the hope it will bring them comfort. I would like to thank everyone who has donated for their love and support and helped us create a lasting tribute to our beautiful baby daughter Penelope.”

The couple visited Forth Valley Royal Hospital to hand over the cuddle cot to NHS Forth Valley Chaplain David Harper, Bereavement Adviser Catriona Addison, and midwife Chloe Jackson who said it had been a privilege to look after the couple after the sad death of their lovely baby girl.

NHS Forth Valley Bereavement Adviser, Catriona Addison, added: “Everyone at the hospital who has met Ryan and Melissa have been humbled by their kindness, generosity and determination to do something positive to help other families who have experienced the loss of a baby.

“We are very grateful to them for everything they have done and continue to do to support local services at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.”

Additional Information

Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund in Penelope’s memory can do so on Just Giving.