A Northampton couple have arranged a black tie fundraiser in aid of a Northampton General Hospital (NGH) ward after staff saved their premature baby’s life.
Baby Elsie - now 11 months old - was born three months early in The Gossett ward - NGH’s neonatal intensive care unit - at 10.51am on July 7, 2021 after mother, Katrina Whitham, aged 34, suffered with pre-eclampsia. Elsie was 27 weeks old and weighed just one pound and 12 ounces - less than a bag of sugar.
Parents, Katrina and Lewis Whitham, aged 33, from Westone want to thank Gossett Ward staff for delivering life-saving support to Elsie and caring for her over the course of 11 weeks following her birth.
Katrina said: “They have been brilliant, really assuring, uplifting people. We were there for 11 weeks and she was on oxygen and just really tiny and fed through a tube but they showed us how to do all of that.”
She added that one of the hardest parts of this ordeal was only being able to see Elsie with partner, Lewis, for just two hours together a day due to the risk of infection during the coronavirus pandemic.
Outside of those two hours, they could only spend time with their newborn separately. Despite this, Katrina described Gossett ward staff as their “second family.”
Katrina added: “They were just really great and, without them, we do not know what would have happened to Elsie at all.”
Saying thank you was simply not enough for Katrina and Lewis. Together, they have organised a charity black tie event that will take place at the Overstone Park Golf and Leisure Resort on Saturday, June 25.
There will be arrival drinks, photos, live music, a three-course sit down meal, a raffle with over 30 prizes donated by local businesses - including afternoon teas, meals, haircuts and champagne - followed by a disco. The event will be attended by 12 Gossett ward nurses.
The money raised from the event will help to fund the construction of a ‘parent room’ in the Gossett Ward so that parents, who are not local, have a place to stay as the hospital cares for their poorly children.
Katrina said: “We just wanted to thank them for all of the hard work they put into - not just Elsie - but me and Lewis as well. They are just the most amazing people that literally deserve the world.
“To them, it is more than just a job. They are the most happiest and positive people and they are just special people, who we would just love to say thank you to. We hope the staff attending have a lovely evening and have the best night that they deserve.”
You can make a donation to Katrina and Lewis’ fundraiser for the Gossett Ward by visiting their Just Giving Page.
Volunteers from the Northamptonshire Health Charity will also be making collections for their fundraiser at the Northampton County Cricket Club on Friday, June 24 where the Northamptonshire Steelbacks will be playing against the Yorkshire Vikings.