3 August 2020
Ben Moorhouse and Gaynor Thompson set up the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation in memory of their daughter, who was stillborn at 38 weeks – and have decided their charity will support Tommy’s and our Rainbow Clinic specifically because they credit our pioneering research and specialist care with the safe arrival of her brother Apollon Alexandros in May this year.
A family inspired to help others
Foundation Trustee and dad Ben explained: “We made a promise to Kallipateira while holding her in our arms that we would do her proud by helping others and making a difference in her honour, and by hopefully one day giving her a brother or sister. Our grief for Kallipateira will always be there but Apollon will help us, and we look forward to him learning all about his big sister.”
“The death of our daughter could have been prevented; there is always the big question of WHY. Research and putting this into practice is the key to saving babies lives.”
After Kallipateira’s stillbirth in 2018 and a heart-breaking miscarriage in 2019, Gaynor and Ben came to Tommy’s in Manchester for help.The couple have named their new baby son after the Greek God of rainbows, light, medicine, prophecy and music, and his middle name honours Professor Alexander Heazell whose team looked after the family with preconception support at our Velocity Clinic and antenatal care at our Rainbow Clinic.
Our pioneering research and expert care
On 14 October (coincidentally the day of Baby Loss Awareness Week that we mark with a wave of light to remember lost babies) they found out they were expecting again, and immediately contacted Prof Heazell, who supported the family throughout the pregnancy; when Covid-19 sent the UK into lockdown, Ben couldn’t go to appointments with Gaynor, but said he felt at ease because they knew the care team so well.
Prof Heazell, Director of Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at the University of Manchester, commented: “I’m thrilled that Ben and Gaynor have decided to use funds from the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation to support our research and specialist care; this will enable us to continue working to understand the reasons why babies are stillborn and how best to care for mothers in pregnancies after stillbirth.
“It’s a huge privilege to care for parents in the Rainbow Clinic and I have met some amazing families in doing so. I’m looking forward to working with the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation to raise awareness of and funds for our research in her memory.”
Why this support means so much
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, Tommy’s Manchester team continues to drive ground-breaking research and provide specialist care. Some of the crucial work happening at Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre this year, which will now be aided by the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation, includes:
- the rollout of our Rainbow Clinic’s trailblazing approach to other hospitals, having already reduced the stillbirth rate in Greater Manchester by 32% over the past decade
- the FeHeMo project to develop a vest equipped with innovative technology to monitor babies’ health when worn by mothers with high-risk pregnancies
- the INVEST and FEMINA3 trials, which are working to better understand what changes to babies’ movements in the womb can tell us about stillbirth risk.
The Foundation’s generosity comes at a vital time for Tommy’s, when fundraising has been hit by event cancellations due to Covid-19 while our services face a huge rise in demand as the pandemic impacts other care and support for pregnant women and those going through baby loss.
“1 in every 250 pregnancies in the UK ends in a stillbirth – that’s 8 babies every day – and we believe that every baby lost is one too many. It’s thanks to donors like the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation that we are able to continue our life-saving work, and we’re so grateful for their support.” - Jane Brewin, Tommy’s Chief Executive