Neonatal nurses marathon campaign

Two neonatal nurses from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are undertaking a series of marathons over the next year to raise funds for the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Anna Smith, 36, and Sarah Cole 26, were both lucky enough to be selected from the ballot to run in the 2010 Virgin London Marathon and they have decided to raise funds for a new piece of equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Unfortunately Sarah has had to pull out of this year's marathon due to illness but Anna will be running the 2010 marathon and Sarah is planning to run the 2011 marathon. They will both be entering numerous other races in between their London marathons.

The two nurses are aiming to raise £4,000 to buy a vapotherm device that uses non-invasive oxygen therapy to help critically ill and premature babies breathe. The NICU at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of only two highly specialist level 3 units in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and looks after more than 700 babies a year.

One mum who has had personal experience of the NICU is Milly Prior of Oakley whose son Jack was born prematurely at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and went on to spent 52 days in hospital.

Milly said: “I had pre-eclampsia during my pregnancy and Jack was delivered at 30 weeks by emergency caesarean section as my blood pressure had become sky high. He only weighed 2 pounds and 9 ounces when he was delivered and he had a hard time.

“Jack's lungs collapsed and later he had a bleed on the brain and I did a lot of crying. After a week I had to leave him in the NICU and that was awful but we knew we were leaving him in the best possible hands. They were very caring and told you exactly what was what and helped us fantastically”.

Jack is now 17 months old and is doing well at home.

If you would like to donate to Sarah and Anna's Marathon Campaign please make donations payable to The Norwich Children's Fund (registered charity number 284777).

Last year the neonatal nurses at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital won the prestigious Nursing Times award for Team of The Year for their joint work with the University of East Anglia School of Nursing and Midwifery and Quidenham Hospice.

The three organisations worked together to develop the very first service in the country to create a care pathway for babies who go from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for palliative care at Quidenham Hospice or at their own home with hospice support.

And last month Bea Smith, an assistant practitioner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at NNUH, was nominated for the Infacol Baby Bonding Award by a grateful mum.

Bea won second prize in the Infacol Baby Bonding Award which sets out to recognise how health professionals help parents bond with their newborn babies. A judging panel from Infacol, Prima Baby & Pregnancy magazine and Bounty selected three national winners from a shortlist of nominations.

Tuesday 6th of April 2010 05:00:01 PM