A HEARTBROKEN mother has spoken about her tragic stillbirth at Royal Bolton Hospital.

Courtney Hutcheson, 21, found out she was pregnant with her first child on August 5 last year.

The pregnancy was smooth and simple, with no issues or large risk factors, and Courtney went to Royal Bolton Hospital for a sweep at 41+1 weeks.

Her daughter, Lyla-Rae, was checked at the appointment and all seemed fine, but when her waters broke a few days later, nurses at the hospital were unable to find their daughter’s heartbeat.

She said: “We’re still clueless as to why it happened.

“It was such a shock, we thought I was just in labour but when I got to triage they had to tell us our baby girl was no longer with us.

“We were taken to the Butterfly Suite and I delivered after five hours and five minutes of active labour.

“We got to spend a lot of time with her in there, I delivered on the Friday and we went home on the Sunday.

“She was able to come home with us for a few days too, it was really bittersweet.”

Lyla-Rae was born in the early hours of April 17, and Courtney and her partner, 26-year-old Michael O’Brien, were able to spend a few days with their daughter after her delivery.

Both the placenta and the umbilical cord have been sent away for testing to try and uncover some answers for the couple, who are still reeling from their daughter’s death.

The pair are now raising money for SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, to help the charity continue its research into stillbirth, and allow it to support more families who have been through the same traumatic experience.

Miss Hutcheson added: “It’s really important for them to do more research into stillbirths to try and find anything that can help prevent this from happening to other families.

“With the money we’re raising they can do more things like memory boxes and support more families who have been affected by this.

“Even if only one family doesn’t have to go through this it makes a difference.

“I really want people to start talking about stillbirth, it’s not really spoken about and I had no idea about it before it happened to me.

“I had no clue what to expect or what could have caused it and having more people speaking about it can raise awareness and help the amazing work that SANDS do.”

Visit gofundme.com/f/lylaraeobrien to see the couple’s work.