By Rory Cassidy

A WHITEINCH mum who tragically lost two girls late in pregnancy within 12 months used her year of hell as a force for good – and raised money to help other parents in the same situation.

Stacey Downie, 32, also lost her dad and grandfather to cancer in the torrid 12 months. 

But the 32-year-old took the positives from the heartbreaking experiences and the money Stacey raised will give other parents who suffer the same tragedy the chance to do something she didn’t – spending time with their child. 

The money Stacey raised was used to pay for a Cuddle Cot, a refrigerated cot allowing parents more time with their tragic babies before their funeral.

The use of Cuddle Cots is encouraged by charities, bereavement practitioners and academics in the UK, and Stacey says parents in the same unfortunate situation as her will now be able to spend quality time with their children before they are buried. 

In May 2016 Stacey lost her grandad, Jackie Murphy, 76, to cancer and, just five weeks later, on June 30, 2016, her dad Alex Murphy also died of the disease at the age of just 48.

Stacey and husband Sean Downie, 34, also had to deal with Stacey losing two girls late in pregnancy as their year went from bad to worse.

On August 26, 2016, Stacey went for her 20-week detailed scan to find out her daughter, Alex-Hope, had no heartbeat. 

The next day she had to be induced and Alex-Hope was delivered at 2.35pm weighing just 102grams.

On January 14, 2017, she found out she was pregnant again, and had a gender reveal day with all her family after finding out she was going to have another girl.

Mum-of-five Stacey said: “I also found out I conceived the baby on Alex-Hope’s due date so believed the baby was a gift from her. 

“My pregnancy was so hard, I had so many mixed emotions.

“Every scan was a worry, my anxiety was really bad but it was all going well. 

“I had to go in for an early detailed scan because of what happened to Alex-Hope.

“And it was bad news again, my baby was cruelly taken away from me and had severe disabilities.

“I just couldn’t believe it, I was so shocked.

“I wondered how life can be so cruel in such a short space of time, losing my grandad, dad and two girls all within a year.

“My second angel, Tia, was born May 6, 2017, at 18 weeks, weighing 146grams.”

Stacey began fundraising and she managed to raise the £1,600 needed to buy a Cuddle Cot for the funeral directors who took care of her dad and girls’ funerals.

Cuddle Cots have allowed some parents to spend whole weeks with their children to help them come to terms with their loss.

Stacey said: “That year was the worst year of my life, cruelly losing my grandad, dad and two girls in such a short space of time.

“It’s very hard on not just me but my husband, kids and the whole family.

“Without the support of them and my close friends I don’t even know how I would have coped but raising money for the Cuddle Cot gave me something to focus on.”

Stacey was introduced to a site called Angels Wings, which helped her cope. The site gave her “forever packs” which contained clothes and hats for the girls to wear and, through the site heard about Cuddle Cots.

And she has now been able to pay for one that has been donated to the

Alex Black Funeral Care in Drumchapel in memory of Alex-Hope and Tia.

Stacey said: “If I’d known about Cuddle Cots before I would have been able to spend some more precious time or even a full night with my girls.

“Within hours of delivery they were taken away from me but if I had the chance of one of these I would have been able to spend all the time I wanted with them.

“This will help people in the same situation as me and give them the chance to make precious memories before their babies are taken away from them.”

Gordon Black, who received the cot on behalf of the funeral home, said: “We are delighted Stacey chose to raise the money to pay for this and donate it to us and we hope it will help any families who have the misfortune to suffer a tragedy like Stacey.

“This cot is a testament to Stacey and her character and is a lasting tribute to Alex-Hope and Tia.”