Hugo was born 16 weeks prematurely in February 2014. He had to be born early because my partner Leigh, Hugo’s mummy, had the rare pregnancy complications preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. Because he was so premature, we didn’t know if he would even be born alive.
We will be forever grateful to all the neonatal staff at St George’s for giving my son every chance to fight for his life. The kind, committed and talented staff of nurses and doctors in the unit did everything possible for Hugo. They were fond of the feisty baby who knew what he wanted and when he wanted it, giving him the nickname ‘Hugo Boss’.
We so wanted Hugo to be one of the success stories, but it was not to be – Hugo succumbed to chronic lung disease and died in his mummy’s arms aged 35 days. We are heartbroken, but Leigh and I treasure the memories, stories, photographs and videos from of each of those 35 days.
It’s thanks to the work of the unit that we were able to spend those 35 precious days with Hugo. I’m honoured to be able to support the unit as a small way of saying thank you for everything that was done for my son.
I will be donating 10% of sales of all the greetings cards from my website to First Touch. The cards feature a range of dogs, as well as some of cats. Blank inside for your own message, the cards are suitable for nearly every occasion, especially for animal lovers.
Funds raised by First Touch and their valued supporters go towards buying vital state-of-the-art equipment that is out of the scope of NHS funds, resulting in improved quality of care for and management of poorly babies. This equipment can help these babies beat the odds, meaning many proud parents are able to take their precious little ones home – and other babies, like my Hugo, are given every chance.
The neonatal experience is incredibly stressful for parents, so First Touch also raises money for things to make things a bit easier. This includes part-funding the Family Centred Care Coordinator post, tea and coffee in the parents’ room and refurbishing the parents’ and the quiet room, so there is a space to recharge your batteries.
My partner Leigh has written more about Hugo’s life, and about the work of First Touch on her blog.
Please do consider helping this wonderful charity – and many other sick and premature babies and their families.
Four Paws and a Tail Photos