Bringing the New Year in at home

Naomi Appleby sitting in the middle, with mum Amanda (left) and sister Millie Grazier (right) with children Lucy-Rose, baby Arlo and Darcey

A mum and her family who were so thankful for the care her premature baby received at the Neonatal Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have donated equipment to enhance care for babies.

Naomi Appleby gave birth to baby Arlo at 25 weeks weighing just 1lb 12oz. She had to spend her baby’s early weeks firstly at Royal Preston Hospital and then in the care of the specialist baby unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Arlo was discharged home on December 12 after spending almost three months in hospital.

Naomi said: “Arlo had a few setbacks but we are so happy that he came home just before Christmas.

“I was so emotional when we heard the news that he was able to come home because we really didn’t expect it would happen before Christmas and I cried for nearly the whole day!

“Arlo has a hole in his upper heart value and is now under cardiology care. He has a badly damaged right lung due to his premature birth.

“It was amazing to have my baby home for Christmas. He has improved so much and put 6Ib in weight on since he has come home.

“I can’t thank the Neonatal Unit enough for all they have done for us. I can now be a mum again to my other two children and my husband will be able to see Arlo a lot more.

“We wanted to bring something back to the unit and we have donated a chair to help babies settle. Their care is fantastic and we wanted to thank the staff for all their efforts. The staff became a big part of my life and we have developed a bond which really helped me get through this difficult time.”

Amanda Cane, Naomi’s mum supported her family and helped with the fundraising.

She said: “The fundraising took place around the time of World Prematurity Day in November and we sold pens and raffle tickets to help raise money.

Naomi’s sister, Millie, held a cake sale at her school and raised £263 in funds to buy a special Mammaroo chair.

“The care really is outstanding and we wanted to do something nice for the unit. The staff have a smile on their face and are always so helpful.

“I have been there to support Naomi and we have all supported each other through this time.”

Millie Grazier, Naomi’s sister said: “It’s great to now be able to see Arlo all the time. I didn’t think he would be home this soon and it’s amazing to have him home with the family.”

Neonatal Unit manager, Catherine Nash added: “We are so grateful for Naomi and her family for all their help with the unit’s fundraising. As well as selling tickets they also donated a couple of lovely prizes, at a time when they were already very busy juggling family life and hospital visiting.

“The chair Millie has donated is fantastic and will really help babies to settle and make the experience in hospital that bit better for babies and their families.

“We are so delighted that Arlo enjoyed his first Christmas at home! It’s fantastic to see how much he has grown and improved. He was certainly one of our little Christmas stars.”

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