Healthcare Hero Award: Tracy Rae

The Tommy’s Healthcare Hero Award recognises a midwife, doctor or other medical professional who has provided exceptional physical care or emotional support to parents in difficult times. This is Tracy’s Story.

Tracy is a bereavement midwife, which means that when a baby is lost through a late miscarriage, is stillborn or passes away very soon after birth, Tracy is the one who steps in to support parents and help them navigate through what is one of the hardest and most difficult times of their lives. After the parents go home, Tracy’s role is to support the families when they go home with empty arms, giving them as much support as they need for as long as they want.  

One mum, who nominated Tracy, explained:

"In July of last year I was taken into hospital in the early hours of morning with bleeding. I was 19 weeks pregnant at this point. It turns out that I was already in labour. There was no other option but to wait and deliver my baby, knowing there was nothing the NHS could do as they were so tiny. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy several hours later. Tracy was there to comfort us and to guide us through the next few days.

Once discharged from hospital, she had regular contact with us and visited weekly to make sure all was OK. She was always caring and compassionate - someone we could trust and feel comfortable around. 

In January of this year we found out I was expecting again; my nerves and anxiety were through the roof but she was always there. She offered to be our midwife through this pregnancy rather than us going through our GP.  This helped hugely as Tracy already knew our history, so we wouldn’t have to keep digging up past information at appointments.  At 18 weeks they found my cervix was shortening again but were able to put in a stitch before this progressed to early labour once again. Tracy even came to see me on the ward before the operation.

We are currently at 21 weeks and everything with our little girl is going smoothly. Without the support and guidance of Tracy I don't know how we would have got through the heartbreak of losing our son so suddenly, and also coping with the anxiety of a second pregnancy. She is so kind and modest and sees it as her doing her job, but I believe she goes above and beyond this!"

As well as being the inspiration behind creating a garden for bereaved parents at the hospital, Tracy has set up a support group for mothers who are pregnant again after a loss.

"I felt strongly about this as often women didn’t get continuity of care and felt scared and anxious in their subsequent pregnancy. I now run my own clinic and caseload about 45 women a year. I’m with them from the beginning of their pregnancy until they give birth. I feel very proud of this achievement." - Tracy 

As a mark of how truly inspirational Tracy is, this is the second time she has won this Award, the first being in 2004!  Tracy, your continued dedication to helping bereaved families is truly inspirational.