Staff on Kettering General Hospital’s special care baby unit are launching a £35,000 appeal today (October 30) to buy an additional intensive care incubator.
The George the Giraffe Appeal – named after the type of intensive care incubator they want to buy – will help improve care for the 450 premature babies who need to use the SCBU each year.
The appeal is being spearheaded by senior administrator Sara Hales, ward sister Susan Chisela, matron Jeannette Payne, staff nurse Hannah Smith, healthcare assistant Anne Underwood and fundraising assistant Maxine Andrews.
Sara said: “We already have three giraffe-style intensive care incubators but we are hoping to raise enough money to buy a fourth.
“There are many different benefits that they bring to babies – and their parents – because they create a warm and secure environment that can be adapted in many ways according to need.
“They can have their temperature, ventilation, oxygen level and lighting adapted and they are large enough to enable mums and dads to have a cuddle with baby as well.
“We very much hope that local people will support the appeal and help us further improve the facilities at KGH’s special care baby unit.”
Local mums whose babies have already benefitted from these types of incubators have described just how important they are.
Stephanie Burlington, of Corby, gave birth to 14-week premature Gracie eight weeks ago.
Gracie weighed only 1lb 4oz at birth and has spent the past seven weeks in an intensive care incubator until last week.
Stephanie said: “These incubators are so important. They help to keep your baby safe in exactly the right environment for them.
“Gracie had an infection three weeks ago that was quite serious.
“She has been very well looked after at Leicester Royal Infirmary and at KGH’s SCBU and is now much better.”
Mum Rachel Messer, also of Corby, gave birth to twins Jetson and Indiana five weeks ago when they were 13 weeks premature.
She said: “They were both in intensive care incubators for three weeks and for the past two weeks have been stepped down to special care incubators.
“This sort of equipment – combined with the specialist care from the SCBU staff – are what help to keep your baby safe and secure while they develop.
“It is very scary having premature twins and it helps when you know they are in good hands and being carefully monitored and looked after.”
To support the appeal contact KGH fundraising assistant Maxine Andrews on 01536 491569 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The appeal is being launched today (Monday, October 30) with a stand in the main reception at KGH.