Family’s mission to help

Erin Nelson and her daughter, five-year-old Georgia. Photo: Damjan Janevski

After losing their own baby girl, a Point Cook family is on a mission to help young children who experience the loss of a sibling.

In January, Erin and Gavin Nelson were devastated by the loss of their daughter, Ella-Rose.

“I was pregnant and we lost her at 22 weeks and that was pretty difficult for me,” Ms Nelson said.

She said that while there was plenty of support available for her and her husband, there was not much available for their daughter, Georgia, who was very upset by the loss of her younger sister.

To assist, a friend loaned the family a book called We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel, written by Pat Schwiebert.

Ms Nelson said the non-religious book was a great help to Georgia, who is now five.

“We would go to bed reading it every night,” Ms Nelson said.

“In the book, the little boy who is the narrator says, ‘If this just happened to you, I’m really sorry you got an angel instead of a baby’.”

Ms Nelson said she discovered the book was hard to come by in Australia.

She has since set up the Ella-Rose Foundation to raise money to buy copies of the book in the US and import them to Australia.

Ms Nelson, a jewellery designer, has also designed earrings she sells online for $14 – all money raised from their sale will go to buying the books which will be donated to schools and hospitals, including Werribee Mercy.

She said it was important for people to engage in “open dialogue” about losing a baby.

“It’s a really hard thing for a family to go through.”