A BEREAVED mother has dedicated herself to a fundraising campaign to support other families through their grief.

Katie and Jonathan Atkinson suffered the tragic loss of their baby boy Jonah on January 30 last year, after he was born at just 21 weeks and four days gestation.

Complications due to a rare placenta condition called placenta percreta, meant that Katie lost a huge nine litres of blood during the birth.

"Unfortunately, the damage was so severe, I required an emergency hysterectomy to save my life", the 29-year-old said.

"Jonah couldn't survive the blood loss, or being born at such as early gestation." He weighed just 375g.

In the midst of their grief and while Katie received treatment in hospital, the Westhoughton couple were immensely grateful for having access to a cuddle cot.

This equipment keeps babies cool and preserves their bodies, allowing families to hold their children, take photographs, add memory boxes, and even take their baby home.

Katie, who is a district nurse, said: "We were incredibly lucky to have access to a cuddle cot for five days after Jonah was born. This meant we could hold him before we had to say our final goodbye. Unfortunately not everyone gets this opportunity and I know many families get less than 24 hours with their baby."

Katie has joined forces with another bereaved mother, Samantha Steele of Little Hulton, whose daughter Amber died at 30 weeks and six days gestation in October 2017.

The two friends, who met at a support group, have begun fundraising for cuddle cots at funeral homes across Bolton.

"This would mean families could spend time with their babies, outside the hospital, before their funeral", Katie said. "It's another opportunity to say a real goodbye." The friends set themselves an initial target of £1,600 — the cost of one cuddle cot. They have set up a crowdfunding page and are also holding a raffle, which has been supported by dozens of local businesses. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katie-atkinson-2.