In 2005 Plymouth NICU became the regional centre of neonatal care serving the population across Devon and Cornwall. A large area that means parents can travel miles to get to the hospital.
The care of extremely premature and sick babies turns families lives upside down. It is emotionally, physically and financially demanding, placing people under incredible pressure. That pressure increases when you cannot stay near your baby.
The best support we can give to parents is the freedom to stay near their newborn child.
A family can need to stay near a NICU for between one and 25 weeks. Our unit can cater for up to eight intensive care babies. We will always home these families, never asking them to leave, using our limited parental bedrooms. We have only three bedrooms sharing just one shower, one toilet and a small kitchenette with no laundry facilities. When we have no room, we have had to use local hotels - a very costly solution.
In 2005 we launched the Keep Me Close Appeal to help solve this problem.
We want to support the provision and development of parental accommodation.
The appeal name came from parents whose baby son, George, was born at 23+4 weeks and weighing only 650 grams. George sadly passed away at just 15 days old. His parents were forever grateful for being able to stay on NICU. It meant they did not miss a moment of quality time with their son.
Due to generous and passionate donors the Keep Me Close Appeal was able to open a home-from-home on 15 November 2019. It is nearby, it provides our families seven en-suite bedrooms, with a fully functioning kitchen, comfortable communal area and access to laundry facilities. To date (June 2020) we have been able to give 22 families 680 nights of accommodation at no additional cost to them or the hospital.
We need to keep this going.
We need just £48 per bedroom per night* to allow peace of mind to parents who are under extreme stress.
If you would like to make a donation - simply click on the donate button below