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“Little miracles” Christmas party

2023-12-15T14:16:37+00:00Friday 15 December 2023|

A Christmas party brought joy and festive cheer to some of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s youngest patients and their families.

The party, held at St Johns Church, Scarborough Road on 13 December, was organised by the Neonatal Community Outreach Team, which runs a support group for parents of babies who have received neonatal care at Walsall Manor Hospital.

One of the group’s regular users is Becky Jones, 36, and her two-year-old daughter Annie Jones. Annie was born on 4 November 2021 at 28 weeks. She weighed 2lb 3oz.

Becky, a mother of five from Walsall, said: “My waters broke at 18 weeks and I was monitored continuously until I went into labour at 28 weeks. Annie is my little miracle, she is a fantastic little girl.

“She has been through so much already so it is lovely today to come and celebrate the magic of Christmas with other parents and babies who have spent time on the unit.”

Annie spent a total of two weeks in New Cross Hospital’s Neonatal unit on a ventilator before being transferred to Walsall. She then spent nine weeks there.

Since discharge Annie has had three operations at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and continues to be seen by Dr Tamsin Lane, consultant paediatrician, at Walsall Manor every three months.

Tamsin said: “It is lovely to see all the babies here today. They are all doing so well. Normally when they are discharged from the unit I won’t see them again unless they have follow-up appointments like Annie, so it is great to see so many of them.”

Marina Bridges and her son, six-month-old Antonio Bridges also attended the party. Antonio was born at 35 weeks on June 2 this year, weighing 5lb 11oz.

Marina, 21, said: “Antonio had to spend two weeks on the Neonatal Unit as he had jaundice and also fluid on his chest. The care he received was amazing, the staff were just so caring. It is like a family there.

“It is lovely to be here today and see the other babies. Antonio has loved it as well.”

Seven-month-old Brody Richardson was another little one enjoying the entertainment. He was born on 14 March weighing 3lb 7oz at 30 weeks.

His mum Natasha Walters said: “Brody has had a great time at the party meeting Santa and Olaf. It has been such a fantastic afternoon.”

Nicki Heath from the Neonatal Community Outreach Team, said: “I love seeing all our parents and babies at our annual Christmas party. It is one of the highlights of our calendar. The turnout has been fantastic.

“We also want to say a special thank you to Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity which provided the amazing food for our families.”

The Neonatal Community Outreach Team is available to those who have started their journey either on the Neonatal Unit or on the Transitional Care Unit. The support group is held on the second Wednesday of every month and is free to attend. The next meeting will be held on 10 January.

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