The Keep Me Close fundraising appeal has received some fantastic support this summer with plenty more still to come.
The appeal is raising funds to help parents stay nearby when their new-born babies are undergoing care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Derriford Hospital. NICU cares for babies born from around the South West who have either been born prematurely or with other life threatening illnesses. Because of the nature of the care being provided, parents are encouraged to stay close by so that they can spend precious time with their newborns and sadly, in some cases, so that they can be with their babies in their final moments.
The unit only has capacity for four sets of parents to stay overnight, meaning that most parents have to leave their children each night. The Keep Me Close Appeal is aiming for as many parents as possible to stay with their children at such a worrying time.
Fundraisers from across Plymouth have been walking, cycling and skydiving to raise funds for the appeal. Keep Me Close would like to say a huge thank you to some of their wonderful fundraisers:
- On 31 May, a team of fundraisers set off on a 60 mile trek across two days, finishing at the maternity entrance.
- On the 15th of June a group of four NICU dads cycled 100 miles from Illfracombe to Derriford Hospital and raised over £5,000.
- On 30 June an amazing 20 people leapt out of a moving plane and completed a skydive to raise funds for Keep Me Close. Plans are already underway for the 2020 skydive.
Later this month, on Saturday 27 July, Keep Me Close are organising an incubator push from Derriford Hospital to Plymouth city centre and back again. The group will be talking to as many people as possible about the fundraising appeal. You can get involved by walking with them or sharing your spare change with them on the day. The walk will start from the maternity entrance at Derriford Hospital at 8.30am.
On the same day, Jack Crosley will be participating in the Dartmoor Prison Break, which is a fundraising and endurance event, whereby the entrants determine their own route from HMP Dartmoor with the aim to achieve the furthest distance in 24 hours. Jack’s wife, Lizz, gave birth to their daughter, Lowena at 36 weeks. Lowena wasn’t breathing and needed to be resuscitated. Jack and Lizz were overcome with joy when Lowena let our her first cry, however, Lowena’s first cry blew a hole in her left lung, which caused it to collapse. Under the care of NICU, Lowena made a full recovery and is now a happy, healthy 19 month old.
“You never know when you might need them,” said Jack. “I can probably say that most parents don’t think they will need the need care from NICU, it probably doesn’t even cross people’s minds. But when your world turns upside down and you do need them you’ll be welcomed with open arms.”
If you would like to support the Keep Me Close appeal, you can find their fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tracey-clark6