Little festive Newborns and their families won’t miss out as they spend Christmas in hospital...
NEWBORN babies spending their first Christmas on the neonatal ward at University Hospital Coventry won’t be missing out on the festivities thanks to these kind-hearted Coventry mums.
Volunteers have been collecting blankets, teddies, rattles, baby clothes, Christmas tree decorations and much more to give out to parents and babies at the Walsgrave hospital this year.
The mums, all of whom have spent time in the ward with their own babies, have put together a grand total of 40 Baby’s First Christmas hampers, which they have mostly funded themselves.
Kirsty Dunn, who shared her story with the Telegraph last month as part of World Prematurity Day, spent more than 100 days in the ward when her baby Casey was born four months early in January last year.
She said: “I imagine Christmas would be a particularly hard time because it’s your baby’s first Christmas – you should be at home but you’re having to spend Christmas Day in the hospital.
“I can’t imagine it being the same as at home as a normal Christmas – it would definitely be difficult.”
Kirsty said that parents who spend every day in hospital visiting their newborns struggle to find time for anything else, meaning that special days can be overlooked.
During her stay, she had a similar package delivered to her on Mothers’ Day and said that receiving gifts made it particularly special despite the difficult circumstances.
“It gave me a boost,” she said. “On those days you would usually celebrate at home, but you’re having to go to hospital instead.
“It’s nice because it reminds you that it is still a special day.”
Kirsty told the Telegraph she is going to start volunteering at the hospital so she can be there to help out other mums going through the same thing.
“The nurses there saved his life – they were absolutely amazing in every aspect.
“But there was no one to talk to who had been through it themselves, so I found myself speaking to mums on Facebook and in parenting groups but no one face-to-face at the hospital.
“I want to give back and help parents going through the same thing. I hope my story will give people hope because I was one of the lucky ones.”
Another mum Donna Garside, who’s baby Bea spent five months on the ward, does fundraising for the hospital throughout the year and creates Bumble Bea Bags to give to parents on the ward.
She said: “The bags contain essential items so that parents can stay with their babies without needing to go out and buy them.
“Each bag costs £8 to fund and contains maternity pads, disposable underwear, nursing pads, deodorant, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, handcream, lipbalm, tissues, a notepad and pen and comfort squares.”
The mums are hoping to raise £600 to fund 75 bags.
It gave me a boost. On those days you would usually celebrate at home, but you’re having to go to hospital instead.. it reminds you it’s a special day.