MUMS and dads of babies receiving lifesaving care at University Hospital have helped to launch a fundraising appeal for the Neonatal Unit on World Prematurity Day (November 17).
Last year more than 600 tiny babies were cared for on the neonatal unit including the smallest and sickest premature babies of 23 to 24 weeks to sick full term newborn babies.
The babies may have been born at University Hospital or transferred from other local hospitals.
The appeal will provide a reclining chair for each incubator and cot to give mums and dads a comfortable place to cuddle their baby, including when on ventilation.
Melanie Shiel Fundraising Officer at UHCW Charity said: “You can’t imagine the feeling a parent must have when they aren’t able to hold their new born baby, especially if they are poorly or fighting for their life.
“So the first cuddle and every cuddle afterwards is very valuable to mums, dads and baby – that’s why this appeal is so important.”
At any one time 32 babies could be cared for across the unit which provides neonatal intensive care, high dependency care, special care and transitional support when baby still has some needs but is almost ready to go home.
“Each chair costs around £1,300 but the effect on these families will be worth millions,” Melanie added.
“We hope people living locally and local businesses will help us”
You can support the appeal by signing up to the annual Jingle Jog Festive Fun Run on December 6 at Ryton Pools Country Park; making a donation or organising your own event. For more details visit www.uhcwcharity.org or call 02476 966055.