A couple have inspired their family and friends to raise more than £20,000 for the maternity and neonatal units at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.
Catalina and Paul Dodd were very grateful for the care they received when their son Liam was sadly stillborn in November 2016. As a result of their experience, they decided that they wanted to give back to the hospital and help other families.
Friends and family were so moved by the story that they took it upon themselves to raise money – and amazingly between £23,000 and £30,000 has now been raised collectively.
The extraordinary fundraising efforts included participating in marathons and organising events such as an auction night and a golf day. They also received donations from the Sherfield on Loddon fete.
Paul said: “We want to thank everyone for their incredible efforts.
“It has been amazing to see so many people come together for a cause that means so much to us and we can’t thank everyone enough.
“I also want to give a very special mention to Mandy Coleman, who was our midwife at Basingstoke hospital. She has been by our side all the way through and has been a huge support.”
Part of the money raised has been used to purchase a new infant ventilator, which can provide different methods of ventilation to help premature babies breathe while protecting their delicate lungs.
The remaining amount was used to finance a two-year supply of Mama Academy wellbeing wallets. The wallets allow mums to protect their antenatal notes, which they keep with them as their pregnancy progresses. The wallets are also colourfully printed and contain important advice regarding the health of both mum and baby.
Sharon Stone, clinical matron for neonatal services at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said: “We are really grateful to Paul, Catalina and their friends and family for raising so much money to help mums and babies being looked after by our maternity and neonatal teams.
“The ventilator is a fantastic addition to our neonatal unit and has already been used to give several premature babies vital help in the first few days of their lives.”