A kind hearted Bridgwater mum has raised almost £11,000 for the baby unit at Musgrove Park Hospital.
April Lee, whose son Toby was cared for on the neonatal unit at the hospital when he was born very prematurely, organised a ball at Bridgwater Albion Rugby Club to raise money for the hospital’s neonatal unit.
The event raised £8,500 and Santander Bridgwater kindly donated a further £2,500.
The money will be spent on bereavement training for staff. This will give healthcare professionals the essential knowledge and insight to provide sensitive care to parents who experience the death of a baby. It will also help to fund new oxygen saturation machines.
Guests at the ball were treated to a show by award winning dance troupe, Viva La Diva, as well as games, an auction and a Black Eyed Peas tribute band.
Mrs Lee said she organised the charity ball to show her thanks to Musgrove’s neonatal unit for the excellent care of her son.
“The neonatal unit holds a very special place in our families’ heart,” she said.
“When our son Toby was born premature and very poorly the nurses and doctors at Musgrove treated him like he was one of their own.
“The quick thinking, dedication and love shown to him are the reasons he is now a healthy and thriving nine-year-old.
“He is still getting follow-up care at the hospital, which is outstanding. We can never say thank you enough.”
The hospital’s Rowan Suite, which helps to support families of babies who are stillborn, will also benefit from the fundraiser. The money will help to continue the refurbishment of the Rowan Suite to make sure its environment is as comfortable as possible.
Mrs Lee continued: “I met another mum at the maternity unit who had sadly needed to experience the Rowan Suite. She explained how important the suite was in helping parents who had a stillborn baby.
“We came very close to losing Toby throughout my pregnancy so I wanted to donate some of the money raised to the Rowan Suite.”
Debra Young, head of midwifery and children’s services at Musgrove Park Hospital, said:
“Mrs Lee’s experience of having Toby prematurely has clearly had a profound and long-lasting impact for her and her family.
“We know how important it is that families receive the best possible care during such difficult times in their lives, so it is lovely to hear such wonderful feedback about Toby’s care.
“It is also fantastic that Mrs Lee has become such an accomplished fund raiser and we are extremely grateful for the money she has raised, which will be used for the benefit of families using the neonatal unit and for the Rowan suite going forward. While we continue to provide the best possible care at our maternity unit, donations like this from Mrs Lee go a long way to making people’s experience at Musgrove even better.
“It was also lovely for staff to see Toby growing up and doing so well when he came into the hospital recently.”
Musgrove’s fundraising is coordinated through the hospital’s official charity, called Love Musgrove, which buys those extras to improve patient care and experience that are not normally funded by the NHS.