Lit­tle fes­tive New­borns and their fam­i­lies won’t miss out as they spend Christ­mas in hos­pi­tal...

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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