Premature birth sparks generosity
TINY Sparks are celebrating their 1000th care package for families with sick or premature babies.
The not-for-profit delivered their first package to King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) four years ago; each neonatal package is sponsored by a donor family and includes a personal message to the recipient.
Co-founder Amber Bates said families were often overwhelmed when their baby arrived early or sick with little or no warning.
“The neonatal unit is a scary and confronting place to spend days, weeks or months watching your baby fight for its life and grow before your eyes,” she said.
“Providing essential items to families through our care package program alleviates stress, connects families with peer support and improves the family’s sense of wellbeing.”
Ms Bates wanted to help change other people’s experiences after having her son born pre-term in 2010 at 25 weeks.
Mum Sophie Thompson is at KEMH with baby Scarlett, born in March at 26 weeks and four days; she said her daughter is now doing well.
“It was very scary; I came in a week and a half before she was born, my waters had broken,” she said.
“I was in Busselton and I was meant to be singing at three weddings.”
Ms Thompson received one of the Tiny Sparks care packages.
“It was so lovely to know people are thinking of you,” she said.
Twenty-five core volunteers, mostly mothers who have had high-risk pregnancies or pre-term births themselves, help the wheels of Tiny Sparks turn, along with seven board members.
The packages are now distributed to KEMH, St John of God Subiaco, Perth Children’s and Fiona Stanley hospitals. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Tiny Sparks founder Amber Bates with new mum Sophie Thompson.