Memories, cuddles, smiles, thank yous and reflections have been flowing throughout World Prematurity Day in Walsall today.
Staff on Walsall Manor Hospital’s Neonatal Unit chose this special day to launch their new logo and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity helped them put on an event to support families.
A tea and coffee morning was soon in full swing outside the Fundraising Hub at the hospital and visitors were able to find out information about premature births and the journey that tiny tots, parents and carers can expect. A raffle and lucky dip were also arranged with some beautiful, knitted items made especially for the day by keen local knitter Sheila Hill. Money raised will benefit the Neonatal Unit.
Local knitting groups also provided purple clothing items for all the babies being cared for on the Neonatal Unit, acknowledging the colour that is used to represent the day. Mum Ofure and her twins Konye and Kema are pictured on the unit.
World Prematurity Day is a global movement to raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families. One in 13 babies in the UK is born premature and today allows recognition of the fantastic care and support shown to families, remembers those whose story may not have a happy ending and acknowledges the work of charities such as Bliss.
Mums visiting today included Nadia whose son Zakariya was born in May, 11 weeks early.
She said: “Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to think!
“All the staff on the unit were really nice and supportive, which meant the situation didn’t feel as stressful. The most comforting aspect for me was seeing their faces and being asked normal questions. Even if they had been on annual leave, they came back and remembered Zakariya.”
Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager at Walsall Healthcare added: “Well Wishers was proud to work with neonatal colleagues Claire Chahal and Joanne Main to stage the event and provide baby clothes to help highlight the fantastic support provided by our compassionate team to families at such a testing time. Thank you to all the mums who visited today too – it was so lovely to see their babies making progress and we’ve all fallen in love with them!”
The Manor Hospital is also lit up purple this evening to mark the day.