Fundraiser Brooke shares the story of her baby Monty's premature birth and the skydiving challenge she's taking on to support Barts Charity.
Spending the festive season in hospital
Early December 2018 Leanne was transferred to The Royal London Hospital where her son, Adam, was born premature at only 26 weeks old. Following his birth, baby Adam had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for six weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. Leanne tells us about her experience:
“Being on the NICU ward was a very strange way to spend Christmas but it was lovely with the nurses playing Christmas songs. We got to hold Adam for the first time on Christmas Eve. When he was born he was so tiny we weren’t able to hold him for the first two weeks. The nurses made everything really special.
“Even though it was a bit of a strange year, the hospital staff were all lovely and we really appreciate the fact that they were all working on Christmas Day. It was a very different Christmas but considering how scary everything was at the time they made us feel very at ease.”
Supporting our Secret Santa Appeal
“The reason we give to the Secret Santa Appeal is because when Adam was in NICU we actually got a little gift left on his incubator, a little giraffe comforter that he still has now. We’ll always remember that and want to be able to do the same for somebody else.
“Every baby had something which was just a really nice touch because it’s not how you think you’re going to spend Christmas, so it just makes it a little bit nicer.
“For someone who is going through a particularly difficult time, sometimes the smallest things can make you smile. We always used to try and look for something nice every day whilst we were in hospital and a Christmas gift could be someone’s positive.”
"We give to the Christmas Gift Appeal is because when Adam was in NICU we actually got a little gift left on his incubator, a little giraffe comforter that he still has now. We’ll always remember that and want to be able to do the same for somebody else."Leanne, Adam's mum
Looking forward and giving back
“We really appreciated the gift from Barts Charity was because with everything going on and the fact he was really very poorly, we hadn’t actually bought Adam any Christmas gifts ourselves. So it was particularly lovely to think that someone else had been thinking of us.”
Five years on, Leanne and her husband Paul are looking forward to celebrating both Adam’s birthday and Christmas this December. Support families like Leanne’s spending the festive season in hospital and donate today.