BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Saturday, Oct. 5 marked the 20th Walk to Remember at Raleigh General Hospital, held to honor babies lost during pregnancy or after birth. Thanks to President Ronald Reagan in 1988 it is now a time of National Observance.
Katana Jackson with RGH said this is a way to allow parents and families to come together and share those stories of loss that changed their lives forever.
“We bring everyone back that may have loss infants over the years, and we allow them to share, allow them to grieve, and just kind of support each other in a way that’s none judgmental with people that understand,” Jackson said.
Labor and Delivery Nurse Shauna Garris has not only witnessed the tragic loss of an infant first hand at work, but has also lost two of her own. She said this kind of program is vital to help families get through these hard times by being able to personally know what they are going through.
“I think it’s important for the nurses and the staff to understand what that mom is going through and if they don’t understand it personally then they can, they know we can help they to say the right things,” Garris said.
Through poetry, song, and personal stories, families expressed their experiences; others even started their own support groups. Erica Jones lost her daughter Harmony Pheonix Jones in 2015 and started Harmony’s Breath to remember her.
“It’s tremendous,” Jones said. “I’ve made so many friends through Harmony that I would have never been friends with before and whenever I’m having a trigger day or a bad day, it could be holidays anything like that I know I can call them I can message them and they totally understand why I’m upset.”
Jones, with the help of the Beckley Area Foundation grant was able to donate items to RGH to help families that suffer from a loss of a child.