Fundraising family's New Year shock
A MOTHER who spent a nerve-wracking New Year's Eve in the special care baby unit in Yeovil is raising money to build a new and better facility.
Jenny Bridge, of Coat near Martock, gave birth to her second son Alexander at Yeovil Hospital on December 31 last year.
She was preparing to see in the New Year with the new addition to her family when doctors noticed a problem with her baby's breathing.
Mrs Bridge said: "We were literally about to take him home when they noticed his breathing rate was too fast.
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"They said he might have an infection so he had to be taken into the SCBU for checks.
"The shock was a little much and I spent a very unhappy New Year's Eve in hospital instead of my planned celebration of being able to enjoy our new baby at home.
"It was really nerve-wracking but I also kept thinking that he looked so healthy and he must be fine.
"He was quite a large baby at ten pound two ounces, but they all look so small and vulnerable when they have got all these tubes sticking in them."
Alexander spent five days in the unit having chest X-rays and blood tests.
He was put on oxygen and a course of antibiotics until finally the tests came back clear.
Mrs Bridge added: "The relief that the whole family felt was unbelievable and I will never forget the support that all the staff gave us during that time. The reassurance that he was in the right place, the smiling faces and friendly conversation restored a little normality.
"It was exactly what we needed in a very clinical environment and I will always be grateful for that."
Mrs Bridge said that while the support she received in the unit helped to get her through the experience, she can now truly see the need for a new facility.
The Flying Colours Appeal is raising £500,000 for a new SCBU that will offer more space and privacy to families with poorly or premature babies.
Mrs Bridge said: "I have always supported Flying Colours with having a young family because you never know when you're going to need it.
"But after being in there you can really see why it needs the support.
"We were lucky because it was quiet in there and Alexander turned out to be perfectly healthy. But I could see how if you had a really poorly baby it would be difficult.
"It's such a small space and if you needed to discuss any problems about your baby then there's nowhere really that's private for you to go."
Mrs Bridge is now raising money for the Flying Colours Appeal by donating some of profits from her picture frame business Albridge Designs to the charity.
For each New Arrivals frame that she sells until December 31, Mrs Bridge will donate £5 to the appeal.
The frames include two spaces for photographs.
Sarah Cherry, community fundraiser for the appeal, said: "We were so pleased when Jenny pledged to support the Flying Colours Appeal through sales of her beautiful frames.
"Her work is lovely and I have no doubt they will be incredibly popular.
"Having people like Jenny supporting the appeal means a lot to us. If it wasn't for the support of the public and individuals like Jenny we would not be able to raise the £500,000 needed to build a bigger and better SCBU."
For more information on Albridge Designs visit www.AbridgedDesigns.com.
Support the SCBU by:
TEXT: Making a donation by text is so easy, simply text BABY50 and the donation amount to 70070. So to donate £5, text BABY50 £5. The entire donation goes to the fund.
ONLINE: Visit justgiving.com/yeovilbaby.
PHONE: Call 01935 384317.
POST: Send a cheque payable to Flying Colours Appeal to the Fundraising Office, Yeovil District Hospital, Higher Kingston, Yeovil BA21 4AT.
What's your experience of Yeovil's SCBU? Contact reporter Sophie Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01935 709744.