Stephen asked for donations instead of gifts to celebrate a family birthday. We heard from Stephen about his reasons for choosing the charity – and from the charity about how the donation will be spent:
“When Adeline [our daughter] was born, she had a malformation known as a TOF (tracheo-oesophageal fistula with oesophageal atresia) meaning she couldn’t swallow. She needed an operation when she was 10 hours old to correct it. After this she spent nine days in the neonatal unit.
“Theodora was born at 31 weeks (nine weeks early) weighing just 755g (1lb10oz).
“She spent just under three months on the unit until she was ready to come home, including her first Christmas.
“Despite being early and very small, she has come through it without any major problems.
“As an example of how they went “above and beyond”, at Christmas, every one of the 43 babies in the unit had their own stocking including a comforter blanket embroidered with their name, and parents received hand made cards with their baby’s footprints.
“The surgeons, paediatricians, obstetricians and nurses were superb – caring, knowledgeable – really expert in their fields.
“They continue to follow-up the children to make sure they stay healthy.
“We were lucky to be looked after by such an amazing team and I wanted to be able to give something back.”
Suzie Simmonds, fundraising officer at the Southampton Hospital Charity was delighted that one of their fundraisers won the November £2,012 draw:
“We are absolutely thrilled that Stephen has been one of the Make your Mark in 2012 competition winners.
“The £2,012 that Stephen has won will be going to our neonatal Unit where Stephens girls were cared for. The money will make a real difference to the babies and their families on the unit and will go towards helping us make their experience on the unit as best as we can.
“The money may be used to help expand the parental accommodation facilities which are being fundraised for currently. This project will enable more parents to stay overnight near their babies, to be on hand to help care for them at whatever hour of the day.
“Our thanks go to Stephen for his fundraising and to Virgin Giving Money.”