Two mums are hoping to spread a little festive cheer to parents spending the holidays in hospital by handing out Christmas boxes.
Alexandra Purdie and Nicola Kellie-Jones know too well how daunting it can be waiting for news whilst their newborn fights for their life. As a way of expressing gratitude for their babies’ survival, they are collecting gift boxes for families at Preston’s neonatal unit.
Alexandra’s son Bradley was in intensive care after he was born at 30 weeks in May 2014, weighing just 2lb 15oz, and at the same time, Nicola’s daughter, Caitlin, had developed hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which is a type of brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood.
Following their experiences the two mums began fund-raising to support neonatal charities.
Nicola, a mother-of-two from Adlington, set up her own fund-raiser - Caitlin’s Cooling Cause - last year after two-year-old Caitlin’s life was saved by vital machines which kept her temperature down.
And Alexandra, 25, of Bamber Bridge, supports the national charity Indie’s Gift, founded by Stacey Martin after the death of her daughter Indie, which provides free family packs including hot meals, sugary treats, toiletries and essential information for parents.
The pair have now joined forces to make up the festive gift boxes for Royal Preston Hospital’s neonatal unit.
Alexandra, who also has a nine-month-old daughter Holly, said: “Bradley was born at 30 weeks by emergency caesarian. He was in the neonatal unit for seven weeks. Thankfully he didn’t have any serious issues. His breathing was initially supported and he pulled through.
“My fiance, Joe Campbell, and I were in hospital on Father’s Day and there was no acknowledgement. We felt we were missing out. It must be awful at Christmas time.
“So this Christmas, Caitlin and Bradley are thanking the unit that saved both of their lives by donating 30 shoeboxes full of goodies for each baby spending Christmas on Preston neonatal unit, and a parents hamper for the communal kitchen.
“We are adding some sparkle to the families Christmas during such a hard time.
“We have bought a lot of products ourselves and businesses and people in the community have donated, which has been great.”
Nicola, 28, who is married to Paul, said: “After my own experiences I wanted to help other families. Whilst at hospital, you are living a different world. It is scary not knowing what is happening, so we wanted to give parents a lift and something to look forward to.”