This World Prematurity Day we’re highlighting some of the incredible stories about the tiny babies who have been cared for on Nottingham’s Neonatal Units, and the generous communities who have helped to give every baby in Nottinghamshire the best start in life.
Nottingham’s Neonatal Units care for around 1,500 babies every year who require specialist medical care from birth. Many of these babies are born prematurely, some as early as 24 weeks. We want to make sure neonatal staff are equipped to care for the hundreds of babies and families they see very day with a variety of different needs.
In the past two years alone, people from all over Nottingham have worked together to raised tens of thousands of pounds for our Big Neonatal Appeal.
These donations are already having a huge impact on the Neonatal Units. Over £14,000 has been used to fund specialist baby warming kits to keep premature babies safe and comfortable. Over £3,500 has been used to fund resuscitation training for both staff and parents of neonatal babies. More than £7,000 has also been donated to fund ‘cuddle cots’ which enable parents to spend time with their babies who have passed away.
Chris Massingham recently raised over £1000 for Neonatal Appeal to thank the neonatal team for looking after his baby boy, Xander. Xander’s parents were told at their 12-week scan that their baby would be born with a condition called Exomphalos Major. This diagnosis meant that Xander was born with the majority of his abdominal organs outside of his body. He spent the first 105 days of his life in hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries.
Xander’s dad Chris, a Major in the Army, set himself the amazing challenges of running 105 miles – one mile for every single day that Xander was in hospital. Chris said he wanted to “show appreciation for the amazing team of surgeons, doctors, nurses and support staff” who were “out of this world”. Chris and Deborah believe that Xander would not be with them today if it wasn’t for the “care, dedication and utter professionalism” of all the staff who cared for him.
Nottingham Emmanuel School is one of the many local community groups who have chosen to fundraise for the Big Neonatal Appeal to support families like Xander’s. The school is fundraising to purchase sensory lights for babies on the Neonatal Units. The lights are really important additions to the Units. Amongst other things, they are used for play therapy, which stimulates babies during treatment and improves their cognitive development. Sensory lights are also often used to keep premature babies calm while doctors and nurses administer life-saving treatments. We’re so grateful for all of the teenagers and teachers at Nottingham Emmanuel School who are dedicating time and effort to helping our youngest patients here in Nottingham.
In the run up to Christmas, we need your help to make sure that more babies get home sooner, that families whose lives have been turned upside-down are supported and cared for, and that our Neonatal staff have access to everything they need to do their jobs to a world-class standard.
This World Prematurity Day, please consider donating to or fundraising for our Big Neonatal Appeal.