Charity helps out families of premature babies
‘‘It's a really hard and emotional time. They know what you are going through.’’
A new charity initiative is helping make life easier for families of premature babies, such as threemonth old Tiare O’SullivanHeemi.
Born 14 weeks early on July 21 and weighing just 985 grams, the Upper Hutt girl was just bigger than her mother’s hand.
Mum Brittany Hepi said the days after Tiare’s birth were mixed with happiness and anxiety after her baby was whisked away to an incubator.
Having now passed her original due date of October 25 she is now almost ready to leave hospital.
Since Tiare was born, Hepi said the support of the Neonatal Trust had been invaluable to her own happiness and heath and that of her baby.
‘‘They are amazing. It’s a really hard and emotional time. They know what you are going through and know what help and support you need.’’
She had travelled from her home in Upper Hutt into Wellington and later to the Hutt neonatal unit every day to be with Tiare and found the process exhausting.
On November 1, mother and daughter received a brand new wool baby blanket and in doing so became the first family to benefit from the trust’s new partnership with the Points for Purpose initiative.
The scheme supplies charities with useful goods for those who need them the most. Goods are paid for using Fly Buys points donated by other Kiwis.
The initiative also supports the Compassion Soup Kitchen, Auckland City Mission, Women’s Refuge and Barnardos.
Hepi was hugely appreciative of Points for Purpose and said it helped charities like the Neonatal Trust make life a little bit easier for families. It was a clever way of allowing people who were short of cash or with surplus points to help those in need.
Neonatal Trust operations Manager Justine Brooker said they were thrilled to be a recipient of the initiative.
A large number of goods avail- able for donation such as blankets, duvets, clothes and mattress protectors were made of wool which aided in the health and comfort of babies.
‘‘Wool is hugely important because it is a breathable natural fibre, it helps premature babies who can’t regulate their body heat.’’