Char­ity helps out fam­i­lies of pre­ma­ture ba­bies

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

‘‘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.’’

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