Skip to content

Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity

Dad Reaches for the Skies in Memory of Baby Daughter

Friday 09th March 2018

Nick Samuel from Ramsbottom will take fundraising to new heights with a 11,000ft skydive in June to raise money for the Rainbow Room Fund at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Nick’s taking on the challenge in memory of his baby daughter, Matilda, who was born in September 2016 but sadly lived for just 23 hours on the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mary's Hospital.

Nick’s wife, Bryony, had a long and difficult pregnancy with Matilda, and it was at their 20-week anomaly scan when everything came crashing down for the couple, as they were told their baby was extremely poorly. Nick and Bryony were met by a specialist team who explained that Matilda appeared to have a rare form of skeletal dysplasia. The team carefully and gently helped to counsel the couple through some incredibly difficult decisions.

Nick comments: “We were told that if Matilda made it as far as delivery, she most likely wouldn’t cry or at least she’d be very quiet because of her tiny lungs but Matilda had other plans! The day Matilda was born she blew us all away, born breathing and crying she screamed the theatre down. She was taken straight to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit where we got to spend 23 hours together as a family until she very peacefully passed away in our arms.

“The staff on NICU were incredible and worked hard to ensure we knew what was happening and helped us to make some beautiful little memories to keep forever. When we were ready we moved to The Rainbow Room on Ward 64. The quiet, non-clinical space was a welcome sight after an exhausting 48 hours on the labour ward and NICU.

“Matilda had a special ‘Cuddle Cot’ right next to our bed where we were able to stay and spend more time with her. The Rainbow Room staff were amazing, caring for our whole family and helping us to explain to our nearly three-year-old son, Julian what had happened and where his baby sister was. We will be forever grateful for the kindness and the care we all received from the NICU and The Rainbow Room staff.

“We chose the name Matilda because it means ‘brave in battle’; our darling Tilly Bear was exactly that. Her short life was filled with love and her memory will always continue on.”

Inspired by the incredible care Matilda received, Nick and Bryony are determined to fundraise for The Rainbow Room at the hospital as their way of saying thank you. The Rainbow room at Saint Mary’s Hospital is a space set up for parents and families to go after the delivery of a baby that is stillborn, has died during labour or in the immediate hours afterwards.  The room allows parents and relatives to spend some precious time with their child.

A comfortable, personal and warm space, the Rainbow Room takes away the clinical aspects that come with a hospital environment.  The Bereavement Midwives give families the support they require, taking foot and hand prints, and photographs, helping to create those precious memories.

Nick added: “The rainbow team and Ward 64 supported us again with our most recent pregnancy. We welcomed baby Louie earlier this month and the team were fantastic in supporting us throughout this pregnancy. I’ll never be able to repay them for their kindness, but I hope the funds raised by the skydive will let them know just how much they helped our family when we needed them.”

Jessica Ruth, Events Manager at Saint Mary’s Hospital Charity said: “Nick and Bryony are loyal supporters of our charity who are dedicated to fundraising for the hospital. All the funds they have raised, and continue to raise, will help other families going through a similar, painful time in their lives. We can’t thank Nick enough for supporting our charity again with this challenge, and wish him the very best of luck with the skydive!”

To sponsor Nick in his fundraising challenge please visit:

Stay in the loop

Let’s keep in touch! Sign up here to receive the latest news about charity events and projects, and how you can help, straight to your inbox.