Spending Christmas in the neonatal unit whilst your newborn baby fights for their life is a particularly daunting and draining time. But one mum is hoping to spread a bit of festive joy by handing out gift boxes.
Mother-of-seven Kirsty Davis has spent two Christmases at Royal Preston Hospital, with two of her children,
Eight-year-old Brogan was born at 30 weeks in October 2010, weighing 4lb, 4oz. His placenta had erupted and he was starved of oxygen.
Doctors were unsure if he would survive, but he responded to treatment and was released from hospital the following May.
Then last October, Isaac was born, at 38 weeks. Although he weighed a healthy 7lb, 4oz, he dropped to 416, 6oz and was devoid of oxygen. He came home after 13 weeks, but had to go back into hospital after he and his mum were run over whilst crossing the road in April.
Kirsty, 36, of Preston, says: “I have spent two Christmases on the neonatal ward. It is a hard time to be in there, especially if you have the rest of your family at home.
“I spent last Christmas there with my youngest, Isaac. He was devoid of oxygen and had to be weaned off. He was really poorly. We came home after 13 weeks, in January but then when he was 21 weeks, in April, I was run over.
“I was walking home from dropping Brogan off at school in Harpers Lane, Chorley, and I got run over.
“We were separated as he was taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with a bleed to the brain, whilst I was at Royal Preston Hospital.
“I broke my fibula and have a metal plate and pins. I have just about started to walk again after using a mobility scooter.
“Isaac was in Manchester for two weeks.
“My first time in the neonatal unit was in 2010 when Brogan was born at 30 weeks. I had gone to the toilet and felt funny.
“It was a difficult birth as his placenta had erupted. I woke up in intensive care three days later and I didn’t even know I had him.
“Brogan was very poorly and he was starved of oxygen. It was a really horrible time, especially for his dad. Doctors thought Brogan was not going to survive and then they told him he was going to be okay and then they told him I was going to die. I was on life support and doctors tried three times to get me to breathe. On the third attempt, I woke up to family members around me.
“I had a contraceptive rod in my arm for three years and so I didn’t think I would get pregnant again. It was taken out and I fell pregnant the first time, with Isaac.”
Kirsty, who has previously lived in Chorley, says that throughout her time on the neonatal ward, the staff were incredibly supportive.
She adds there was a lot of support amongst the families and that is why she wanted to donate Christmas gift boxes for children on the ward and also ward 8.
She says: “The doctors and nurses did a lot for me. But parents don’t expect to spend time on the neonatal ward and they need things.
“I want to create gift boxes for babies and children, with things like outfits, toys, cotton wool and toiletries.
“I plan to make sure each child in ward 8 gets a selection box. I have had a lot of support already and Sainsbury’s has donated lots of toys for the older children.
“I have teamed up with another mum, Kimberley Hardman. She set up Paisleys Corner, in memory of her daughter Paisley Rose Reid, who died at 34 weeks last October.
“I bought baby outfits from her and she is donating £1 from every sale over £3 to go towards the hampers.
“I am really passionate about supporting parents and children in the neonatal ward. If anyone wishes to donate they can do so via Facebook - ‘kirstys xmas18 hampers for neo natel unit’