Hospital chaplain nominated for national award for supporting bereaved parents

First published in News by

A CHAPLAIN working at Worcestershire Royal Hospital has been nominated for a national award for his work supporting families coping with the devastating loss of a baby.

Rev David Southall was put forward for the Butterfly Award by Lisa Ventura, whose son Frankie was stillborn last November.

The Butterfly Awards recognise families showing strength in the face of the loss of a baby and those supporting them. Rev Southall has been shortlisted in the bereavement worker category for his work offering support and guidance to families with stillborn babies or whose children died in the first few weeks of life.

Mrs Ventura said Rev Southall had been “a huge source of comfort” to her and her husband Russell throughout their ordeal.

“When we knew that Frankie would be born sleeping David was there with his shoulder to cry on and offering me support, guidance and tissues,” she said.

“He was always caring, compassionate and patient.

“Whenever I dropped in to his office or called him on his mobile he was never too busy to listen to me.

“I know that if it wasn't for him I would be in a much darker place than I am now.”

The couple have since set up charity Frankie’s Legacy helping parents of stillborn children as well as those born with a cleft lip or palate or chromosome 15 duplication syndrome, which causes developmental problems.

Rev Southall, who runs a popular Good News blog at www.revdavidsouthall.com spreading positive stories about healthcare, said he was delighted to be put forward for the award.

“In the course of my work I meet parents who are experiencing baby loss,” he said.

“These couples and families are some of the most inspirational people I have met in my life.

“I’m moved by these parents because they are facing one of the most challenging situation life can deal out.

“I’m honoured to be nominated for a Butterfly Award and grateful to have a small part to play in the lives of others.”

Voting for the Butterfly Awards is open until Thursday, September 11.

Votes can be cast at www.thebutterflyawards.com and winners will be announced at a black tie event on Saturday, October 11 at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth.

For more information on Frankie’s Legacy visit www.frankieslegacy.org.uk

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