"I am running the London Marathon on 23rd April and am raising money for SSNAP - a charity which supports sick newborns and their parents.
It’s a charity which I and my family are very much indebted to. My niece (Tilly) and nephew (Teddy) were born by emergency C-section at 26 weeks at Northampton hospital but transferred to the John Radcliffe for specialist care. They spent the first 100 days of their lives in intensive care. Whilst there, SSNAP provided amazing help and support to Tilly and Teddy and my brother and his wife".
Tilly and Teddy spent 15 long weeks in 3 different NICU departments the JR, Kettering
and Northampton General Hospital. After arriving 13 weeks early, Tilly and Teddy were born by emergency C-Section at Northampton hospital, weighing just over 1KG each they were both transferred to the John Radcliffe in the early hours of 22nd September 2021 where they spent the next 5 weeks of their lives having the most wonderful care in ICU.
Every day we would sit between the 2 incubators and listen to both Tilly’s and Teddy’s alarms beep in sync, watch their numbers on the screens fluctuate, and hope that the latest step forward was not followed by the dreaded often 2 steps back. But every day without fail we would be visited by these wonderful ladies from the most amazing charity SSNAP. Caz, Kerrie and Christine would somehow be able to take some of our
burden, they would come and chat with their trusted snack trolley and just support us without us really knowing quite how much we needed them at the time. As awful as the situation was, we were just glad we spent the first 5 weeks at the JR receiving the very best treatments for our children but also we received the best support in our time of need.
It is not only the support that we received from the ladies each day, but all the fabulous work and fundraising that SSNAP does that has enabled them to provide the state of the art hi-flo machines, breast pumps, milk warmers as well as the countless other items that enables the NICU department to function as efficiently as it does. Providing the critical care to the babies that we and the other families in NICU have all benefitted from during our time there.
The keep sake boxes (which are now filled with items that remind us of the journey and the size they once were) the water bottles, coffee cups and the beautiful hand knitted blankets and hats that are donated and given to the babies all free of charge are some of more simple things this charity does, but mean so much during these hard times.
Before Mum had been able to get to the JR and meet our new-born babies, our room at the Ronald McDonald House Charity hotel had already been arranged by these angels at SSNAP and was waiting for us upon arrival to take away anymore stress.
Tilly and Teddy are now unrecognisable to the 1KG babies we first got to hold after 4 and 9 days of them being born, both are walking, climbing up and down the stairs, talking and both started nursery in January. Despite the early and challenging start they had, the care and support we all received in those 5 weeks will never be forgotten and we are so grateful for everything, we cant thank you enough.
Andy, Sarah-Jane, Tilly and Teddy.