Rotherham’s tiniest hospital patients have inspired the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s new fundraising campaign.
The NHS charity’s Tiny Toes appeal aims to raise money to help fund the redevelopment of the Neonatal Unit at Rotherham Hospital.
The existing ward and its caring and compassionate staff are highly praised by families, but the facilities require upgrading to ensure their excellent standard of care can continue for future generations.
When babies are born prematurely, they are vulnerable and in need of round the clock support. Care on the ward focuses on allowing babies to fully develop while monitoring issues usually associated with their breathing, feeding and muscle development.
The average pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks but Rotherham’s neonatal unit cares for youngsters born from 27 weeks. Babies can spend anything from a few days up to six months on the ward.
The appeal will fund an overhaul of the unit’s family rooms, including repainting and soft furnishings, furniture, modern showers and kitchen facilities.
Jessica Kendall spent five weeks on the ward with her babies Frankie and Lottie when the twins were born prematurely.
Jessica’s babies were born on 11th January 2022 at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester before being transferred to Rotherham, where Jessica’s family live nearby.
She said: “We knew Frankie and Lottie would be born early, but we weren’t prepared for how early they did arrive. Rotherham was the closest unit with two cots available and they needed help with their feeding and breathing. Lottie weighed just 2lb 10 and Frankie was 3lb 6.
“My dad sadly died at Rotherham Hospital, so being closer to home was comforting and I felt he was with us.
“The care we received was exemplary and I felt the staff really knew the babies’ individual personalities. I spent a lot of time in the breakout room. Watching Bargain Hunt always reminds me of my time on the ward!
“It was heart-wrenching leaving them to go home and look after their big brother Freddie, so I think parents will value a space that feels homely and comforting for their little ones.”
Alison Cowie, Head of Nursing for Children’s Services at the Trust, said: “Parents tell us that having a premature baby is an emotional time.
“We want to provide a new unit for these much-loved babies and their parents and the staff caring for them who do an amazing job supporting the families 24 / 7.”
The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity has been raising money to enhance the experience of NHS patients for more than 25 years, funding resources, equipment and projects which really make a difference.
Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising, added: “If your baby spent the first chapter of their lives with us, if you were born here, or even if you’re expecting your little one in the future, we’d love you to support us by fundraising.”
For more information about fundraising for the Tiny Toes appeal contact the charity team on 01709 426821 or email email@example.com.