Grieving mother 'blown away' as loved ones raise £2,000 for baby loss charity

A gruelling, high-energy fundraiser organised by a grieving Wolverhampton NHS worker who lost her baby has raised £2,000 for charity.

Zane Murray with friends and family, getting muddy at the Wolf Run
Zane Murray with friends and family, getting muddy at the Wolf Run

Family and friends of Bethany Murray completed the 10k Wolf Run in Warwickshire to honour the memory of her daughter Ophelia Storm Murray, who died at 32 weeks.

Clambering through thick mud, trails and obstacles across open ground, woodland and chest-high water in The Offchurch Bury, they raised the money for the Lily Mae Foundation, which supports parents and families who have experienced stillbirth or neonatal death.

Bethany and husband Zane, both 27 and from Ashmore Park, initially set a target of £500 then doubled it after friends and family rallied around them pledging support.

Taking part in the Wolf Run were Zane, Bethany’s brother Adam Davies, sister-in-law Poppy Davies, and sister Nicole Down, and friends Kyle Wilkinson, Rhys Smith, and Rich Lockley.

Poppy is a breastfeeding peer support co-ordinator at New Cross Hospital.

Bethany, who has worked as a patient access clerk in urology at New Cross Hospital for three years, said: “I am blown away by the support we’ve received.

“I saw the total on our JustGiving page and it just kept going up – I couldn’t believe it! I think a lot of people have been touched by our story and by how open we’ve been about it because the death of a child can be a bit of a taboo subject.”

Zane added: “Everyone has given so generously, it’s amazing. It’s good to have the story out there so other families who have been through what we have know they’re not alone, and it also promotes the charity.

“Talking about it makes it a lot easier for us to deal with, because from personal experience, bottling up your feelings can completely ruin your mental health."

Bethany with Zane and Ophelia Storm

Reflecting on the Wolf Run, Zane said: “As soon as I started the first thing I saw was the big tyres we had to go through and I didn’t think that looked too bad, but then all that was in front of us was a swamp and I thought ‘what do I do now?’

“The hardest bit was the trench – it was like clay and there was nothing to grab onto, it’s really slippery and our legs were starting to go, but there was about 3km to go and we resolved to get it done.

“But, as well as doing it for the charity, to have done something that meant so much to us – and the thought that it could help others in our situation – with such close family and friends felt very special.

“Crossing the line was extremely emotional – knowing I had completed it was a moment I fought back the tears and Bethany was crying her eyes out.”

Everyone finished together in a time of one hour, 35 minutes but despite the mud, wet, sweat and tears, they’re ready for more.

“We all want to do another one, 100 per cent,” insisted Zane. “This was the Autumn Wolf Run and we want to do the spring one, then the summer event and the autumn one again. Apparently the spring one is the hardest because it’s so cold but I’m going to force myself to do it.”

Ophelia Storm was born at 32 weeks on Friday, May 27, by emergency Caesarean section at Birmingham Women’s Hospital. She died shortly afterwards.

From 29 weeks, she developed fetal hydrops, where fluid had accumulated in more than one part of the body and skin oedema – swelling under the skin – mainly around her head and neck. This diagnosis has a survival rate of 20 per cent.

“We always expected there was a high likelihood she might not survive,” added Bethany. “The neonatal team did everything they could to save her but our baby girl died shortly after in our arms.”

Bethany and Zane spent four days with Ophelia after she died. Memories of their daughter will never fade. “We talk about her every day – she’s always in our thoughts,” said Bethany.

People can still donate to Bethany’s JustGiving page.

For anyone affected by this story, baby bereavement charity SANDS offers support.

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