NEWS CENTRE

Full Termers Run to Raise Money to Prevent Stillbirth

Alex Tighe and her fellow ‘Full Termers’

 

 

Former Mercy Health patient, Alex Tighe, has rallied together her closest family members and friends to form a fundraising team called ‘The Full Termers’. The team has committed to doing five fundraising runs in 2017, including Run Melbourne on July 30, to raise money for Mercy Perinatal.

 

‘The Full Termers’ were brought together by Alex Tighe who lost her son, Jack, to stillbirth five years ago. They will be participating in one run for every year that has passed since. Family, friends, colleagues and the general public are being called upon to join the team or to make a donation to the team who are raising funds for research into the prevention of stillbirth and to help mothers bring their babies safely home.

 

“I wanted to do something significant to mark five years since we lost Jack,” says Alex. “I thought five runs for five years would be a good way to band people together and raise money for research.”

 

“It’s a win-win, you get to achieve your goals by finishing the runs and at the same time you are aiding research to help bring mothers and babies safely home.”

 

Alex’s story with Mercy Health began after the passing of Jack. Alex had several miscarriages after her stillbirth and also within this time her obstetrician tragically died of cancer.

 

“I felt as though the world was against me and I was ready to give up,” says Alex. “That is, until I met Sue who renewed my confidence. She was the linchpin, the reason I kept going.”

 

Professor Sue Walker is the Mercy Health Director of Perinatal Medicine and co-founder of Mercy Perinatal.

 

“Sue gave me confidence that someone was walking the journey with me,” continues Alex. “She was so generous with her time and often the support was more emotional than medical.”

 

Prof Walker said there is a reasonable body of evidence showing that emotional support provided in the context of good clinical care improves the outcomes for patients as much as anything else.

 

“One of the under-estimated things we do is say ‘we will hold a candle in the dark and we will journey with you to get to the other end’,” says Prof Walker.

 

With Prof Walker’s support, Alex decided to try a fourth time to complete her family and although it was not an easy journey, Alex gave birth to Isabelle in late 2015.

 

Since meeting Prof Walker and being introduced to Mercy Health, Alex has been very active in raising funds and awareness to support Mercy Perinatal and its research into perinatal death.

 

Around 1 in 130 pregnancies in Australia tragically ends in stillbirth. Mercy Perinatal is currently working on developing a blood test to help women avoid stillbirth. The blood test aims to measure ‘danger signals’ that leak out of the stressed placenta in pregnancies at high risk of stillbirth.

 

“It is far more common than people think,” says Alex. “If we can find a test to save just 5% of these babies, we will be saving 100’s of lives.”

 

“It’s comforting to know that even though Jack never got to live his life, he is still making a difference.”

 

Click the play button to see and hear more about Alex’s story on the video below.

 

 

Messages to: Kasey McCulloch – Mercy Health

29 May 2017