Little Ezra Charalambous is full of energy and really keeps her parents George and Sanita on their toes.
It’s hard to believe she was born prematurely at 24 weeks weighing just one pound and seven ounces and needed to be cared for in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Neonatal Unit.
Her grateful parents came back to the unit recently to bring in a donation for our Well Wishers charity of £750 raised at Ezra’s first birthday celebrations on 28 November last year. The couple also raised money for Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital as their daughter was transferred there following her birth and spent seven weeks there.
Ezra came back to Walsall’s Neonatal Unit during the second week of January 2018 and was discharged on 14 March.
Sanita explained: “We just wanted to visit and say thank you to the staff involved in caring not only for Ezra but for us too.
“She was ventilated and suffering from pulmonary stenosis (a condition where there’s a narrowing of the valve between the right pumping chamber and large blood vessel that carries blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen) and this was a whole new world for us. We are first time parents, there hadn’t been any problems during the pregnancy and I just thought I had a water infection so things changed very rapidly when I came into hospital and was told I was 10cm dilated.”
Sanita had to stay in Walsall when Ezra was transferred due to concerns over her own health but was well enough to follow her the next day.
While mum and baby were back in Walsall Sanita remembers the patience and support shown by staff encouraging her to breastfeed and she was able to express milk for her daughter.
“That support was invaluable and it’s thanks to that member of staff’s dedication that I breastfed Ezra for five months,” she said.
“But all the staff we saw during that time were amazing. There were times that I was just overwhelmed by everything and had loads of questions and they are so calm and comforting.”
Husband George added: “It has been lovely to come back in and see Calum (Raffle, Clinical Support Worker) and Lisa (Poston, Senior Nurse/Ward Manager) and they remembered us too.
“Seeing Ezra now it’s hard to believe she was once so poorly and tiny and it’s definitely thanks to everyone on the Neonatal Unit that she’s doing so well now.”
Calum added: “It means a lot to staff when someone comes back to see us to say thanks – and it’s always great to see the babies again too!”
Lisa said the cash would help buy items for the new Neonatal Unit currently under construction, which will be able to offer 20 cots compared to the current 15.
“Donations like this really help us to provide items such as breast milk warmers and reclining chairs so we’re thrilled,” she said.
Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity regularly supports the Neonatal Unit through donations and events.