It was just an ordinary doll but it’s taken on so much more meaning to a grief-stricken mum.
Claire Gray was given the doll when her baby daughter Matilda was born in 2013. When the little girl died aged three months, the doll - also called Matilda - became even more significant to the heartbroken family.
But the doll was lost on an outing to Dublin Zoo and Claire has taken to Facebook in the hope someone will return her.
“I am absolutely devastated, I feel like we’ve lost a piece of Matilda,” said Claire, who also has a son with her husband Kristofer.
Explaining the significance of the doll following the death of their daughter from Edwards Syndrome, Claire wrote. “I’ve cuddled Matilda doll to sleep every night since Matilda passed away. She even came to hospital with me when Matilda’s baby brother Archie was born. She comes with us as a way of Matilda being with us for family photos, which are so painful after losing your child as she is always missing.”
Claire, who was given the doll by a friend who had also lost her own baby girl, added: “I feel so stupid for losing her and very distressed. Please please please help me to get her back home.”