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IN People ON 07 Jun, 2016
Claire Gray lost her little baby Matilda aged three months in 2013. Matilda died due to rare genetic disorder Trisomy 18 and the devastated mom had been using the soft toy as a comfort since then. The mom lost her baby's doll during the visit to Dublin Zoo. Claire then pleaded on Facebook to help her find the doll.
Read on further to know what happened next.
Claire, from Newtownards, Co Down turned to Facebook after she lost her baby's doll at Dublin Zoo on the 30th May 2016.
Claire's post has gone viral with more than thousands of shares on Facebook.
The doll had lovely brown-colored hair and had the name Matilda embroidered on the front. Now thousands of strangers are helping Claire in her search for her late baby's doll at the zoo.
Claire is overwhelmed with the response received from complete strangers online and hopes to soon find her brown-haired doll. She exclaimed, "The support has been phenomenal and I was able to tell Stephen Nolan and his listeners about our situation and got a lovely response. People understand and have been very kind. They have even offered us dolls and offered to buy dolls to replace Matilda Doll and I'm so grateful but I really just want the link with ours back and it returned to me."
Matilda was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 when she was just 5 days old. The doll has been a comforting link to the family after the death of Matilda since last 3 years. Claire stated: "I have an ache in my arms where my Matilda used to be and I found it very comforting to hold her doll. It was our link to our little baby and we are desperate to get the doll back."
The couple traveled back to Dublin on their fifth wedding anniversary to look for the doll but couldn't find her anywhere. Now the grieving mom is receiving worldwide support to find her late baby's doll.
Claire said: "We were all over the zoo from about 9.30 this morning until about 1.45, but we didn't find her. The zoo was so helpful and let us look at CCTV. It was quite blurry, but it seemed to show that I had her in the pram on my way out of the zoo which is what I have been thinking myself."
"We also got a message through Facebook, with this lady saying they think they saw her inside iron railings at a tree on the way down to the carpark. I can't be sure if that's right of course, but it sounds about right. We checked there today, though, and it wasn't there so I don't know what's happened."
"Maybe a child saw it and took it, maybe it was dumped or someone lifted for some other reason. Who knows? I just hope someone somewhere knows and can help me find her."
Claire said: "Somewhere between the zoo shop, gate and Lord Walk's car park at Phoenix Park, Matilda Doll went missing. She means more than words can express. For us, she is a piece of our little daughter, Matilda. I feel so stupid for losing her and very distressed but I'm hopeful some kind soul will get her back to us."
People are searching for Matilda doll from Ards to Australia. Share this heartbreaking story as much as you can to help Grays find their missing doll.