A MUM who lost twin daughters shortly after birth has donated £1,000 in their honour towards a lasting memorial for bereaved parents in Inverclyde.

Gail Baxter was 28 when her twin daughters Amy and Laura were born 15 weeks early on January 20, 2003.

They tots weighed just 1lb and 1lb 6oz.

Despite all the efforts of medical staff Amy died the following day and and Laura slipped away on January 29.

Gail said: “Both my husband Roy and I were devastated and we felt helpless watching both Amy and Laura struggle to survive.

“They put up all the fight they could, and it was heartbreaking to watch.

"They were so tiny.

“The neonatal staff were wonderful and we can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”

To mark what would have been the twins' 16th birthday Gail and friend Carolyn Wilson held a fundraiser for SiMBA, Simpsons Memory Box Appeal.

Gail said: “It was always on my mind to raise money to help premature babies and bereaved parents.

"So I decided to launch a fundraising drive to mark what would have been our daughters’ 16th birthday.”

A combination of a bonus ball collection, donations to a JustGiving page instead of sending Christmas cards and a raffle meant a terrific total of £4,000 was raised.

Gail, along with husband Roy and her children Charlie, 14, Hannah, 13 and Rosie seven, presented the cheque to SiMBA.

Half of the money raised will go towards providing SiMBA memory boxes.

When Gail lost Amy and Laura she was given their hand and footprints along with photographs of both her girls and videos of Laura taken by her cousin.

SiMBA provide memory boxes for parents to help them gather as many memories as they can of the precious time they spend with their babies.

One thousand pounds of the money will go towards a planned family room at the neo-natal unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the remaining £1,000 will go towards the Tree of Tranquility.

Local families, their friends and families are aiming to raise £16,600 to get the tree, a life-sized copper sculpture where each leaf honours a baby who has died, installed in Gourock Park.

The Tree of Tranquility is not just for the newly bereaved but also parents who lost their baby at a time when there was little or no recognition of their baby’s existence.

The tree offers a way of expressing a private and public declaration in their memory.

Gail said: “I think the tree is a wonderful idea and I support it being so local.

“I’m from Gourock and the park is beautiful and well maintained and accessible for people to visit.

"It's a place for people who have been unfortunate to lose their precious babies to go along with friends and family.

“The tree will give people a peaceful place to sit and to reflect and think.

“The Tree of Tranquility will be a symbol to parents they are not alone when they go through something like this.

"Sadly everyone knows someone who has had a similar experience.”

Gail has extended her thanks to everyone who helped make the fundraiser a success, including all the friends and local businesses who provided raffle prizes and those who bought tickets.

Thanks also go to Carolyn Wilson for her help in obtaining prizes and Lynne Archdeacon of Loxx Hair Design, who ran two bonus ball competitions and donated prizes.

To donate towards the Tree of Tranquility for Gourock visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/InverclydeTreeofTranquillity