Families welcomed back to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit reunion

5 October 2018

 

Last week, some of our incredible Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital hosted a reunion for babies that had been cared for on the Unit and their families. More than 30 families came back to Chelsea and Westminster to meet old friends and share experiences of their time with a child in intensive care.

One of our special guests included 10-year-old Lia Smith and her mum Senga. Lia spent the first 112 days of her life in NICU and wanted to give back to the Unit. In less than three months she raised over £1,000 for our Critical Care Campaign by taking 112 pictures with 112 different horses, one for each day she was in NICU.

We were also delighted to see 1-year-old twins Georgie and Teddy. The twins were born last year at 32 weeks weighing just 3lb 8 and 4lbs 1 respectively. They stayed in the NICU for 29 days while they received lifesaving care.

Mum Joanna said, “We are truly grateful for all the care and love that each staff member gave to the boys. I worked for the corporate side of the NHS and it was really special to see how hard the staff work 24/7 round the clock on the clinical side.

“Every staff member gave 100% even on very little sit-down time. As first-time parents and especially with twins, it was so scary to see our little ones in incubators. The wonderful NICU team made us feel at ease and guided us through tasks that should have been simple, but were so hard because of how tiny they were, like changing their nappies while they’re in the incubator.

“I was a nervous wreck at the start and absolutely exhausted due to no rest. However, walking away at the end of the day knowing our boys were being looked after so well certainly made things easier.

“When your little ones are premature, it is so crucial for them to have the time in NICU. It was hard, and you just want to rush them home but knowing that they have an amazing care team around them is reassuring. It really does take a special person to become a NICU nurse.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

As the hospital’s official charity, CW+ are raising £12.5 million to transform the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Chelsea and Westminster. When complete, our staff will be able to treat an additional 150 critically ill babies like Georgie and Teddy every year. If you would like to get involved, email charity@cwplus.org.uk.

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