Why SIDS and Kids has changed its name

Red Nose, formerly SIDS and Kids, helped Simone Hamilton of Kambah when she lost two babies in six months.
Red Nose, formerly SIDS and Kids, helped Simone Hamilton of Kambah when she lost two babies in six months.  Photo: Karleen Minney

Months after her three-day-old daughter died in her arms, Simone Hamilton witnessed her second chance at joy die inside her.

As she sat at the hospital, watching the heartbeat of her unborn baby slow down and eventually falter, she felt like her chest was being squeezed in a vice.

Six months earlier, she had given birth to a baby girl named Charlotte with black curly hair, chubby cheeks and the bluest of eyes.

A little sister for her 18-month-old son Joshua, what Ms Hamilton didn't know was that her daughter's brain hadn't developed properly due to a rare genetic condition called Lissencephaly.

Within hours of her diagnosis, Charlotte died in her mum's arms.

Miraculously three months after Charlotte died, Ms Hamilton and her husband fell pregnant again. At 13 weeks she had a miscarriage.

"The miscarriage I had, they couldn't say why. Sometimes we just don't know," Ms Hamilton said.

"The baby was dying over a few days. I was in the hospital watching the heart beat slow down. Honestly it nearly killed me.

"I felt like my womb didn't work. I felt broken and that at some level it was my fault. It felt like the core of who I was  had just shifted. I was no longer the same person. I just felt like I'd joined this club I never wanted to join."

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Neither of her children succumbed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome but SIDS and Kids was there to help Ms Hamilton walk the path many parents have had to tread before.

Bereaved mums and dads like Ms Hamilton are why the charity has now changed its name to Red Nose and has pledged a new target - to reduce the incidence of sudden and unexpected deaths in babies and pre-school children in Australia to zero.

Ten years on, Ms Hamilton now volunteers with the charity and has changed careers to become a trauma counsellor.

Her marriage didn't survive the loss of her two children but 18 months after her miscarriage, she was gifted with a baby girl, Hannah.

"I was so scared throughout the at pregnancy. I was so worried because you can't detect Lissencephaly, you can't detect that level of detail in the brain," Ms Hamilton said.

"I was so worried we've have that again that I got to about two weeks before I gave birth and I realised I completely forgot to worry about anything else that could go wrong!"

Ms Hamilton has learnt while you never get over losing a child, it is possible to feel joy again.

She now tells other parents: "You will survive this. You will laugh again. You will enjoy life again. I promise."

  • If this story brought up issues for you, you can call Red Nose's 24-hour bereavement support line on 1300 308 307 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.