A Ringwood mum whose baby daughter spent four weeks in Salisbury District Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is doing a parachute jump to help other parents with premature babies
Laura Sinclair’s daughter, Safara, was born nearly two months early. Laura has decided to make the leap to raise funds to help the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal’s Caring 4 Kids campaign, which is raising £250,000 to create a Family Accommodation Unit for the parents and siblings of premature and critically ill babies.
The Family Accommodation Unit will provide additional support for families of babies born too small, too sick or too soon. It will provide en-suite bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen and play room, and educational facilities. It will mean parents can stay within a few seconds of their new baby in comfortable, home-like surroundings and avoid the need for them to make daily journeys to and from the hospital. The Unit will enable parents to spend valuable additional time with their baby. This will have positive effects on bonding, getting feeding established and ultimately help shorten the baby’s hospital stay, enabling the family to return home together sooner.
Laura said: "When the time came for me to be discharged from hospital and leave Safara in NICU, words cannot describe how I felt saying goodbye to her. It didn't get any easier after that either. Living 18 miles away in Ringwood we weren't just round the corner and some mornings it would take me an hour to get to the hospital and see my baby and I would miss the doctor’s morning round of what the course of action for the day was. With the family unit this would have been possible and I want to support the Stars Appeal to help other parents who find themselves in my position in the future."
Hannah Paye, Fundraising Co-ordinator for the Stars Appeal said: "Having Laura’s support means a great deal. She has been through the worry and stress of having a premature baby and knows what a difference the new Family Accommodation unit will make to hundreds of families like hers."
If you would like to sponsor Laura you can do so via the website
NOTES TO EDITORS
More details of Laura and Safara’s story are below. As told by Laura.
When Safara was born I wasn't able to hold her as she was taken straight to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). When I went to see her in the unit for the first time it was really scary, there were alarms constantly going off and all sorts of wires and tubes surrounding the incubator.
There were so many thoughts and emotions going through my mind that it all seemed like a bad dream. The first few days passed in a blur. There was nothing I could do but wait and watch my little doll sized baby inside the perspex box who didn't even feel like mine. Those anxious few days paid off when I finally got to hold her.
The staff were brilliant, there was no question you couldn't ask twice as they understand that you have a lot to take in. When Safara became stronger the staff encouraged us to help care for her by tube feeding her and they taught us the art to changing a nappy through the incubator doors, and eventually we were even able to bath her.
The nights were hard, being on a ward with other mums who had their babies by their sides was just heartbreaking. If I wanted to see Safara in the night I had to walk along a cold and leaky tunnel to get to her. This is one of the reasons why a family unit is such a fantastic idea as it eliminates a lot of unnecessary stress.
When the time came for me to be discharged from hospital and leave Safara in NICU, words cannot describe how I felt saying goodbye to her. It didn't get any easier after that either. Living in Ringwood we weren't just round the corner and some mornings it would take me an hour to get to the hospital and see my baby and I would miss the doctor’s morning round of what the course of action for the day is. With the family unit this would have been possible and I want to support the Stars Appeal to help other parents who find themselves in my position in the future.
About the Stars Appeal
The Stars Appeal raises money to create the best possible experience for the 300,000 people across South Wiltshire, North and East Dorset and West Hampshire who rely on Salisbury District Hospital. It funds extra care and equipment over and above that provided by the NHS. The Appeal benefits all wards and departments. It also raises money for major projects. Thanks to the generous support of the local community, the Appeal has already funded a number of projects, including special treatment and diagnostic equipment for premature and critically-ill babies and a highly advanced keyhole cancer surgery suite.
The Appeal’s current major project is the Caring 4 Kids campaign, which aims to fund a range of new facilities and equipment to make life better for thousands of local children in Hospital. These include:
A self-contained family unit attached to the Hospital’s special care baby unit (NICU), which will provide parents' accommodation, play rooms and educational facilities for mums, dads and siblings. Currently, many parents face long journeys to visit their babies, but this much needed new facility will enable them to stay close at hand and spend vital additional time with their newborn child
Thanks to the support of local people, the Stars Appeal Caring 4 Kids campaign has already raised £1million to fund extras including ‘home from home’ rooms, multi-sensory equipment and play areas within the Hospital’s new Children’s Unit that is due to open in December 2010.
For further information, please contact:
The Stars Appeal
Salisbury District Hospital.
Tel: 01722 429005
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
T: 01722 336262 E: CustomerCare@salisbury.nhs.uk
© 2013 Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust