LI couple who faced heartbreak of stillbirth strives to help others cope

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OCEANSIDE -

A Long Island couple who experienced the devastation of losing a child in stillbirth is now reaching out to help other parents dealing with the same pain.

Maggie Goodwin remembers the loss of her little girl, Emma-Méabh. "That morning I knew something was wrong, but I was going to the doctor anyway -- and there was no heartbeat," she says.

According to medical experts, one in 160 births result in a stillbirth in the United States. Although it is painful to talk about, Goodwin says she and her husband, Craig, want others who lost a child to know that there is a place to turn for help and guidance.

"When we lost our daughter, I spent 36 hours in labor -- searching on my phone for advice and what to do," she says.

Goodwin came across an organization called Star Legacy, a nonprofit that works on stillbirth prevention and helps families deal with the emotional devastation that follows the loss of a child.

Star Legacy also educates medical professionals on how to handle a stillbirth in the delivery room, and it has crafted legislation that would give parents a tax deduction to help cover medical costs and funeral arrangements.

Family members who've coped with the loss say one of the most important things is to always remember the child that they lost.

"I really want my daughter to make a difference, have a purpose," says Goodwin.

Goodwin now volunteers with Star Legacy as a peer counselor, helping other families as they struggle with the heartbreak.

"I made a promise to myself and a promise to my daughter that I would do whatever I could to help other families," she says.

Star Legacy is holding a family fun day and 5K run in Port Washington on May 5.

More Information: StarLegacyFoundation.org

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