The Helen Robertson Memorial Ride- France, August 2012

Mar 27, 2013 | Events


The summer of 2011 was on course to be a wonderful time in Mark and Helen Robertson’s lives. They were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child, a daughter named Niamh. Their love for Niamh grew more and more each day and they knew she would make their young family complete. A long time educator, Helen adored children, especially those with special needs. Inspired by the real-life experiences of growing up with a younger brother with Autism, Helen went on to become a Special Education Needs Coordinator and worked tirelessly to provide them the individualized support they needed.

In August 2011, while delivering her daughter, Helen lost her life to complications from an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). Mark was devastated and was suddenly left to raise his precious daughter who survived the event, all alone. Mark recalls, “All Helen wanted to make everything complete for us was a baby, the one thing which she has been denied. I take comfort in knowing that we never left anything unsaid. I told her every day that I loved her and there was never a time that I said it without meaning it from the bottom of my heart. I still can’t quite comprehend life without her here.”

Good friend, Kristian Headland and Mark Robertson

This summer Mark will cycle 500 miles in honor of his late wife. Mark’s good friend, Kristian Headland, will join him on this incredible feat. Together the two will travel from Ashington’s Woodhorn Musuem to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Helen’s favorite city. Mark and Kristian hope to raise much needed awareness of AFE while also paying tribute to the beautifully kind woman Helen was. “She was special to so many, I want this event to be about honoring her and showing the impact she has left on so many”, says Mark. The response from the school where Helen taught was so telling of the impact she made during her tenure there. They recently named their learning support center in her honor, following her desire to create a dedicated support area for the students.

Helen’s legacy continues to make an impact on not only everyone who knew her but on strangers alike. Countless supporters have raised money in her honor to benefit the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a cause close to Helen’s Heart, and the AFE Foundation. Both organizations will be the recipients of the fundraising efforts from the momentous ride this summer.

To stay updated on Mark and Kristian’s training and fundraising progress, please visit The Helen Robertson Memorial Facebook Page.

To support The Helen Robertson Memorial Ride, please click the ‘donate’ button below and
write ‘Helen Robertson’ in the additional information section.

We now have office hours!

These are dedicated hours AFE Foundation Executive Director, Miranda Klassen and Support Program Manager/Birth Trauma Expert, Kayleigh Summers, LCSW will be available to answer questions and discuss resources to assist our community members in navigating their paths forward after an AFE. 


The Door is Open! 

Office hours will be held virtually on zoom. Time with staff members will be private and may be limited to 10 minutes depending on if others are waiting. 


Join Us

July 14th 9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

July 27th 5-6pm PST (US, Canada, Australia)

August 11th  9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

August 24th 5-6pm PST (US, Canada, Australia)

September 15th  9-10am PST (U.S., Canada, Europe)

September 28th 5-6pm (US, Canada, Australia)


Potential Topics Covered

For AFE Survivors:

  • Mental Health and Navigating Birth Trauma
  • Understanding Grief After A Near Death Experience
  • How and Where to access mental health services
  • Types of therapists
  • Recommended therapies
  • Assist in identifying local or online therapists 
  • Feeding and Bonding after Birth Trauma 
  • AFE Anniversaries
  • How to talk family and friends about what happened 
  • How to navigate toxic positivity
  • FAQ’s about AFE
  • Understanding what happened to your body
  • Hysterectomy recovery
  • How to access medical records
  • Research related questions
  • Pregnancy After AFE

Grieving Family Members:

  • Frequently asked questions about AFE
  • Stages of grief
  • AFE anniversaries
  • How to honor or memorialize your loved one
  • How to access your loved ones medical records
  • Research related questions
  • Understanding autopsy reports
  • Accessing grief resources

Understanding and Accessing AFE Foundation Resources:


  • Frequently Asked Questions PDF 
  • Survivor Guide 
  • Grieving Family Guide
  • AFE Clinical Summary Form
  • Zoom Support Groups
  • Survivor Directory
  • How to access the Spotify Channel

Help us #endAFE!

The AFE Foundation is entirely funded by donations. Every dollar goes directly toward our support, research, and education programs. We are committed to turning donations into action, including yours.