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Family back appeal after hospital ‘superheroes’ saved twin babies’ lives

A Wirral family have backed WUTH Charity’s appeal to refurbish the Neonatal Unit at Arrowe Park Hospital after their twins were born fighting for their lives.

Candice Jardine, 29, and Tom Dallinger, 31, from Wallasey had their lives turned upside down when their twins, Teddy and Sophia, were born premature and in need of specialist intensive care.

At 25 weeks into her pregnancy, Candice started experiencing pain, and on attending Arrowe Park Hospital, was told she was in labour.  The following day, she gave birth to the twins, who were quickly transferred to the Neonatal Unit at Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital.

Candice said: “We didn’t have an initial ‘meet your baby, bond with your baby’ moment.  We had to be shown which incubators our babies were in.”

Teddy and Sophia, both born under 2lb, fought for their lives whilst receiving the highest level of specialist treatment from Neonatal staff on the Unit.  The twins spent over three and a half months on the Unit, which is part of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH).

Tom said: “The care and the staff were phenomenal.  It’s scary enough walking into neonatal care, let alone having your baby or babies in there.”

The Neonatal Unit cares for poorly babies in need of specialist care.  It is one of two Level 3 (highest level) intensive care units in Merseyside and Cheshire.  WUTH Charity’s ‘Tiny Stars’ appeal is aiming to raise £1.5 million over the next three years to refurbish the Unit.  The plans are to expand the unit, providing a better space for sick babies to be cared for.

Dr Sanjeev Rath, Neonatal Consultant at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “We provide intensive care to the most vulnerable babies who are very sick.  Our aim is to get a unit with adequate space for each baby and their family which will also help with infection control.”

New parents Tom and Candice have taken part in WUTH Charity’s Tiny Stars appeal video to highlight the great care they received from staff on the Unit and encourage support for the appeal.

Tom said: “I think people should donate because it’s a service that you will never know you need; we didn’t until we were in the situation.  For them to provide the right level of care and support, they need the right equipment and the right space.”

Victoria Burrows, Head of Fundraising said: “By providing an extensive refurbishment to the Neonatal Unit, we know we can enhance the already amazing care that’s given to patients and their families.  We need as much support as possible to make the appeal a success.  We’d ask anyone who is interested in helping to please get in touch”.

For more information about WUTH Charity and the Tiny Stars appeal, please visit wuthcharity.org, email wuth.charity@nhs.net or call into the Charity Office at the main entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital.