AN AMBITIOUS campaign to raise £500,000 to provide state-of-the-art incubators for 12 hospitals across the West Midlands is being launched by Bromsgrove charity Libby Mae’s Little Angels on Mother’s Day.
Little Angels Big Appeal will give vulnerable babies the best possible start in life by providing the equipment to the neonatal units.
The charity was formed in 2013 by Richard and Charlotte Sharratt who lost their daughter Libby Mae at just two weeks old.
Since then the pair, with their team of volunteers and patrons, have worked tirelessly to fund-raise for and provide the necessary medical equipment needed to give babies the best care at the units in the Midlands.
Charlotte said “We may be a small, family-run charity, but we have big ambitions and have already made a big impact since forming our charity in 2013.
“I’m so excited, to not only see the difference our latest appeal will make, but also to raise awareness of the specialist equipment needed to assist in helping babies, and the memory of our daughter.”
Each of the incubators cost £26,000 and will regulate body heat, maximise efficiency for clinical staff and enable families to be part of their babies’ care.
Using three heat sources, the incubators help keep the tiny patients at their ideal body temperature at all times, which is vital because a baby’s energy is directed towards growth and development, rather than keeping warm.
The incubators also feature low sound and light levels to create a womblike atmosphere and have advanced safeguards against infection.
The ‘kangaroo mode’ allows parents to closely interact with their baby too.
All this technology helps premature babies to stay healthy, to better bond with their parents, and to ultimately go home sooner.
Consultant neonatologist Vishna Rasiah said: “Incubators are an essential component of the neonatal intensive care unit used to support babies born too soon, too small or too sick.
“They help nest and home these vulnerable babies during their stay.”
She added each one would not only benefit the babies but also the staff and families looking after them.
Aside from this appeal, Libby Mae’s Little Angels has raised £350,000 to date enabling the charity to sponsor a nurse to go back to university to become an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, donate £35,000 to Birmingham Women’s Hospital for a transport incubator for the region and new infusion pumps, buy an extra £16,500 ventilator for Hereford Hospital and makeover Heartlands Hospital’s parent rooms.
The charity has also provided two parent recliner chairs for Warwick Hospital, offered a new breastfeeding chair for Good Hope Hospital, bought new comfortable parent seating at Worcestershire Royal, invest in iPad technology for neonatal units across the Midlands, and deliver Mother’s Day and Christmas presents to those with babies in Neonatal care.