Caring & Sharing: Elsie's Gift

St Vincent's Foundation Queensland

There is nothing more devastating than losing a baby. You not only mourn the physical loss of your child, but you must let go of the dreams you had envisioned for their future. 

Elsie May Berghofer, affectionally known as “Little Kooka”, was born sleeping on the 10th of January 2023. Elsie’s mother, Caitlin became very ill with an infection, which turned septic. This had spread to the uterus and unfortunately, Elsie passed away. Caitlin gave birth to Elsie and spent several days in hospital recovering with Peter her husband by her side. There were specialised midwives and staff who took care of Caitlin, Pete and Elsie. Over the days that they stayed at the hospital they were able to hold Elsie, and photos were taken to preserve her memory. 

In Australia, 2,000 families will experience stillbirth every year. These families will be admitted to hospital to deliver their baby. While there is plentiful research into reducing the rate of stillbirth, there are families every day who must go through the agonising pain of losing their baby. 

Peter and Caitlin are grateful for the empathetic care they received from St Vincent’s Hospital in Toowoomba and wish to give back and have created this fundraiser to ensure Elsie’s legacy is preserved.

Funds from Elsie’s Gift will go towards St Vincent’s Maternity Ward for staff to continually provide the level of care that they experienced and to help other families in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs who must endure the heartbreak of stillbirth or neonatal death.  

Their hope is to raise enough funds to provide:

  • Two cuddle cots
  • Continued bereavement training for midwives

The St Vincent’s Foundation Queensland was very humbled to be asked by Caitlin and Peter to help in this wonderful project. You can join them today as well in supporting this special program by going to for more information. 

Peter, Caitlin and Banjo Berghoffer, with Maternity Nurse Unit Manager, Melanie Osborne