“2.5 years ago, I thought premature babies were those born within a month of their due date, and were just ‘tiny’. I thought you’d give birth to a tiny, healthy and fuss free baby ; still have them on your chest once born, have them by your side in your hospital room, take them home after the standard few day stay. Never did I think that your baby could be whisked away without you even seeing them, and the first time you do they’re wrapped in wires and masks and inside a little hub, keeping them safe and warm and that you’d leave hospital without them.
It never occurred to me that a baby could be born earlier than that, let alone, what could happen – until it happened to us. Quinn Shirley was born just on 29 weeks. It wasn’t until this moment that my eyes were opened to a whole new world of ‘tiny’… but also, very very.. mighty. Premmie babies are increible little fighters, and so is every single person who advocates for them along the way.
Quinn spent 64 Days in the NICU, and during that time she was given every single opportunity to thrive into the little girl she is today. From her first warm hug in her ‘Leo’ incubator through to the use of ventilators, monitors, ultrasound and x-ray machines all donated by Running for Premature Babies – my tiny and mighty girl grew and grew. I don’t even want to think about having not had the platform of financial support that RFPB provides. It is only upon reflection that I can say with a full heart that we wouldn’t be here today without these donations. They kept my baby warm, kept her lungs full of air when she was tired, made sure she was growing properly and cared for her along with doctors and nurses every moment that I wasn’t by her side.
Quinn is now 2 and a half. She loves Fireman Sam, collecting seashells and colourful leaves and hashbrowns!… and she is certainly every bit as mighty as she was when I first saw her behind that incubator window.
My heart goes out to every family who has had a premature baby, with extra love and remembrance for those who gained their wings after too short a time earthside. RFPB is the legacy of those beautiful angel babies and I am eternally grateful for the bravery and drive of Sophie, and the dedication of every volunteer who puts a hand in to make a difference. Thank you x”