An extra special party date

Advanced Neonatal Practitioner Liz Morrison with baby Arlo Appleby who was born at 25 weeks and three days gestation weighing just 1lb 12oz.'Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Advanced Neonatal Practitioner Liz Morrison with baby Arlo Appleby who was born at 25 weeks and three days gestation weighing just 1lb 12oz.'Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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Nurses at Blackpool’s neonatal ward are pulling out all the stops to celebrate their little heroes.

As part of World Prematurity Day, on Saturday, staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are holding a party to honour babies cared for on the Neonatal Unit in the last 10 years.

Neonatal Lead Nurse, Catherine Nash, said: “We want to recognise what these children have achieved. We are celebrating how far they have come in life. For them a big journey started with small and uncertain steps.

“These babies have achieved so much, they are our little heroes. We also wanted the opportunity to thank the parents and families for their ongoing support.”

The party will be held at Blackpool FC on Saturday, and nearly 150 babies and children are attending.

Every year, Blackpool Neonatal Unit cares for over 200 premature babies, with the smallest ever weighing a tiny 15oz. Some are born as much as 16 weeks early and it can be a long and difficult journey for the whole family before their baby is ready to be discharged home. Having a premature baby can be a massive emotional strain for families and the party will be an opportunity for parents to share experiences, advice and concerns, while celebrating their achievements.

Catherine said: “The event is also very important to staff. It can seal the bond between us and the families. It is so wonderful to see the babies growing into health children.”

The unit will also raise funds during the week and a raffle and cake sale will be held on the mezzanine floor, at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, on Friday, from 10am to 2pm. All money raised helps towards giving first-class care to babies and families on the Neonatal Unit by providing equipment such as privacy screens, admission bags and sibling packs as well as iPads which can allow mums to see their new-born babies if they cannot be with them.