The Baby MRI Appeal is being run by Nottingham Hospitals Charity as part of our Big Appeal for the Children’s Hospital, and follows the successful completion of our £1.6 million Big iMRI Appeal to provide an MRI for use on children needing brain surgery.
The new Baby MRI Appeal is raising funds for a unique incubator which can be used within an adult MRI machine because it provides a safe and protected environment for babies who need scans.
Each year the Neonatal Units at QMC and City Hospital see over 1,500 babies, many of whom will need to undergo MRI scans. For these babies the standard method of MRI scanning can be disruptive and difficult as they have to be transferred out of their normal incubators and into an adult MRI scanner. The new ‘Baby MRI’ incubator is an all-in-one scanning environment for a baby, keeping them comfortable and protecting them from noise. This means that many babies can sleep through the scanning procedure without need for sedation or added stress.
Dr Don Sharkey, Neonatal Consultant, says: “As a regional specialist neonatal centre we regularly treat babies requiring brain surgery or those who have spinal or congenital issues. This new state-of-the-art MRI Incubator, which we have named our ‘Baby MRI’, will allow my team to get the best results when scanning and treating babies.”
At the incubator push today, Dr Sharkey was accompanied by members of his Neonatal team who set off from their unit at QMC and took the NET Tram from the hospital to Old Market Square. At the square they were joined in relays by corporate sponsors who are supporting the Baby MRI Appeal, including Mowgli and Home Bargains.
Parents are also getting behind the new appeal. Hajnal Greening, from Long Eaton, is supporting the appeal after her daughter Charlotte was treated on the Neonatal Unit as a baby.
Charlotte, who is now three, was cared for the on the Neonatal Unit for the first two weeks of her life after she suffered from lack of oxygen at birth. During her time on the unit she underwent a variety of tests and treatment, including the cooling of her body to reduce the risk of brain damage, and a subsequent MRI scan which showed no damage had taken place. She was diagnosed with a number of conditions due to a lack of oxygen during birth, but went on to make a full recovery.
Hajnal explained: “It was an absolutely horrendous time for us, but the staff at the Neonatal Unit treated us with such warmth and gave us so much support. They cried with us when we cried, and later on as Charlotte’s condition improved, they laughed with us when we laughed.
“Every single member of the team, from nurses and doctors to assistants, was absolutely fabulous. There was always someone there asking how I was, not just how the baby was. There are no words to truly describe how wonderful these people are. Charlotte is now a happy and healthy child. This is the best outcome that we could ever have hoped for, and this is all thanks to the Neonatal Unit. I am absolutely behind this appeal, I think it’s a wonderful idea.”