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28th Jul 2017

This mum had her wedding dress made into burial gowns for babies

Her own daughter passed away at just four-days-old.

Jade Hayden

Johanne Lickers’ daughter Teagan was just four-days-old when she passed away due to a rare genetic disorder.

The newborn had Patau’s syndrome which meant that she had an extra chromosome in every cell in her body.

After Teagan’s passing, the mum-of-three was devastated when she noticed that a lot of other babies were wearing the same outfit that she had just buried her daughter in.

Speaking to The Sun, she said:

“After, I’d see little girls in the same dress and hat as it was a very popular design. It would absolutely devastate me.”

Johanne decided that she didn’t want other mums to have to go through what she did, so she donated her wedding dress to Cherished Gowns – a charity that transform used wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies.

The group then send the gowns to UK based hospitals and parents free of charge.

The York based mum said that she heard about the charity from a friend, and that she thought it was a wonderful idea.

“It’s a way for these parents to have something unique. Wedding dresses are worn with love in mind, so it’s very fitting for them to go on to make something else to be loved and cherished.”

Cherished Gowns has been active since 2014 and already they have created over 35,000 beautiful burial gowns from 12,000 donated wedding dresses.

The charity is run by volunteers, who have made over 100,000 knitted items and almost 19,000 burial gowns.

Johanne discovered she was pregnant for the third time in 2013.

She and her husband Dave opted to have a home birth overseen by a midwife. However, the birth sped up considerably and Dave had to deliver the baby himself.

The couple noticed that something wasn’t right when baby Teagan was “quite floppy and didn’t seem to be breathing right.”

The newborn was placed on a ventilator, and soon after, Teagan was diagnosed with Patau’s syndrome. Johanne and Dave were told that she had a life expectancy of less than a week.

“It was indescribable. Just horrifically devastating,” said Johanne.

After Teagan passed, and Johanne began seeing other babies in her daughter’s burial outfit, she decided to contact Cherished Gowns.

The charity currently only accept dresses that are white, cream, ivory, or very pale in colour.

They also have a contact form on their website, for people who want to request a gown or ‘bereavement set.’

Cherished Gown’s Instagram and Pinterest pages show the wide selection of blankets, gowns and other knitted items the group’s volunteers have made since they were set up almost three years ago.

The charity also include a hand-knitted blanket in each of their packages, so the babies can always be #wrappedinlove.

The specific gowns made from Johanne’s wedding dress can be seen below.

Burial gowns

She said that as horrible as losing baby Teagan was, it showed her how many wonderful people there are who are willing to help.

“I hope the people who receive the gowns get some comfort knowing that they are being loved and thought of in their time of desperation.”

Images via Facebook and Instagram.