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Our supporters

We are so grateful to all of our appeal supporter’s in helping us achieve our ambitions to create a world class Neonatal unit.

Our Appeal Ambassadors

  • The Morgan-Hughes Family’s Story

    Having spent 67 days on the NICU ward with our daughter AJ, we are as a family very aware of the high standard of care being afforded to the babies that need this special care by the Liverpool Women’s staff. We are also aware of the challenges that face families with a child in NICU, some of these can’t be changed, a child born over 14 weeks early will always have a different “when I was born” story to their peers. Some difficulties facing families with a child in NICU however, with the right support, can be overcome.

    Our family will never be able to thank Liverpool women’s hospital enough, both for the medical care they afforded our children, and the support they offered our family from the day we arrived until the day we left. In an attempt to show our gratitude and to support the hospital to continue to offer the highest standard of care; we hold annual fundraising events which AJ and her friends take part in. In 2017 we held the Iron Toddler challenge which saw 20 children aged 7 month – 11 years, travel distances, by wheels on feet and in the water. In 2018 we organised the first ever Tough Toddler. AJ and her sister got together with 40 of their friends to complete circuits where they managed obstacles twice their height, jumped as high as possible and crawled through the obstacle course. We have raised over £6,000 to date and love being creative with our fundraising ideas each year to raise vital funds for the Neonatal unit.

  • The Ryder Family – Lucas's Story

    On the 5th May 2015, my water's broke in the early hours of the morning. I was 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant with our first child. I received steroids and antibiotics, but Lucas had other ideas and arrived at exactly 24 weeks. I was still in shock at what was happening, but equally as shocked that he was alive, wiggling and looked like a baby - just very small at 1lb 6oz.

    It was about 4 hours after I gave birth that we were able to go and see Lucas. We didn't know what to expect. We had never been in a neo-natal unit and we'd never known anyone have a premature baby. Everyone was really calm in the neo-natal unit and this did help to relax us. I remember that it was night time when we first visited as the lights were down leaving the blue glow of the phototherapy lights.

    We quickly got into the routine of doing Lucas' cares and making sure we were there for morning rounds. We always felt that staff included us in every step of Lucas' treatment and did their best to explain things to us in a way we could understand. We'd search for the positives such as taking milk, putting on weight and reducing his oxygen. I became quite obsessed with him coming off the ventilator and I remember one of the consultants putting me at ease about how long he'd been on it for.

    For the first week we stayed on the Jessops Ward before being discharged. The fear in our faces about having to commute to and from home was noticed by the nurse and we were placed in the flats - fully aware that we could be moved out if someone else needed it. For now, we were grateful. Mornings were really nerve wracking. You'd hope that he'd had a good night and you wouldn't start your day with bad news. I'd feel sick on the way in, but most days, he'd been a good boy.

    One of the most welcoming part of the neo-natal unit is the way that staff greet you. When we'd walk down the corridor staff would acknowledge you and say good morning. Whilst in Lucas' room, they couldn't do enough to try and make things comfortable for you, including allowing me to express at the side of his bed. We'd read stories to him and I'd sing terribly, but we were making as many memories as possible. We felt welcomed in the NICU.

    The end of Lucas' life seemed to come very quickly. It was the morning of the 18th day when Lucas had been sedated that we knew things weren't good. We had a conversation with the consultant and we knew options were running out and time wasn't on our side. Visiting rules didn't really apply to us this day. We needed our parents with us, and this wasn't discouraged and we weren't made to feel in the way. We didn't intrude in Lucas' room, but we all got a little bit longer with him. It felt safer not to have to do it on our own.

    We made the decision to withdraw support, with the decision agreed by the consultants. We couldn't see him suffer anymore, and we were suffering too. We were able to get him christened, everyone got to hold him, we did new hand prints and footprints, we took some locks of his hair and we let him go. Neil and I spent the night with him and it was good to have some alone time. The silence was the hardest part, it felt like we were waiting, but I'm not sure what for.

    Anyhow, that is Lucas' story. He would be starting school this year. He has a little sister now that is 2. We visit him frequently and she still tries to take his toys off his grave, so even though he's in heaven, they still fall out.

    We can't thank the neo-natal staff for everything they did for us. They made us feel part of Lucas' life and part of the decision making with regards to his treatment. They gave him the nickname 'spud' and it's kind of stuck. Lucas was always at the centre of their care and everything was done with his best interests, right down to if he was lying comfortably. 

  • The Morris Family – Mabli's Journey

    In February 2018 at 24 weeks pregnant, we were given the devastating news that our baby wasn’t growing as she should. We were referred to Liverpool Women’s Fetal Medicine Unit who then took over my care. Mabli’s growth and health would be monitored twice weekly until it was decided she needed to be delivered. We made it to April, and at 30 weeks pregnant I had an emergency caesarean. Mabli was born weighing just 610g (1lb 5 oz).

    The care Mabli received from the very moment she was born was amazing. I remember the doctors and nurses telling us she was feisty and them showing her to us as they wheeled her down to the NICU.
    Being in a situation where your child is in the NICU, you cannot prepare for what is to come. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, that it would be scary and emotional. The only way to describe our experience is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The nurses would talk us through everything and doctors explained situations we were in. Soon we settled in and got into a routine. The NICU and all the nurses started to feel like home and a second family to us. Mabli’s stay in Liverpool was for 6 weeks. In that time she had problems tolerating her feeds, meaning her stomach would swell. She was ventilated, needed an operation at Alder Hey, but thankfully all was fine and she just needed time to grow. Once she came off the ventilator and managed to take her feeds, we were able to come home to our local SCBU in Wrexham, North Wales. Mabli spent another 11 weeks there, feeding and growing. She came home at 17 weeks old on oxygen. She is now nearly 10 months old, off the oxygen and doing really well.

    When Mabli was 3 days old, I was fit to be discharged from hospital. But, because we are from North Wales we were fortunate enough to be given a place in the parent accommodation to stay. As we have other children we were extremely fortunate to be allowed to stay in the ‘Family Flat’. This enabled our children to come and stay, allowed us to be a family as best we could in our stressful situation. Had we not had this facility, I don’t think mentally and physically I would have coped travelling back and forth to the hospital.

    This facility holds a big place in my heart, it gave us a bit of normality for the children to come and stay with us and we knew Mabli was just a 5 minute walk away.

    I hope in the future, parent accommodation is still available to other parents who are in a similar situation. For this reason as a family, and to thank Liverpool Women’s for the wonderful care, we will always try and support ‘The Newborn Appeal’. When Mabli had been home for a few weeks we brought her back to Liverpool Women’s with a donation for our time spent there and her care. Something we plan to continue doing as she grows up.

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