After delivering Eve prematurely at 34 weeks, Catherine’s condition deteriorated due to an existing respiratory condition, she urgently needed a double lung transplant and was transferred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she underwent a life-saving transplant.
Thankfully, due to the success of the double lung transplant, Catherine decided she wanted to give something back to the Neonatal Unit to show her appreciation for the great care in which she and her family had received. As part of her rehabilitation, she decided to incorporate exercise into her daily routine, and set herself the challenge of walking 5,000 steps a day for the month of March to raise this amazing amount of money for the unit.
Catherine along with her daughter Eve and mum, Michele Hutchinson recently made a visit to the Neonatal Unit to meet with Neonatal Breastfeeding Lead, Cathy Flinn who supported Catherine and her family during her time in the Ulster Hospital.
As Catherine wanted her funds to support and encourage breastfeeding within the Neonatal Unit, a total of 40 ‘Joeybands’ were purchased, which help support safe skin-to-skin contact in the Neonatal setting as well as 25 copies of ‘Caring For Your Baby in the Neonatal Unit: A Parents Handbook’.
In order to make the two parents bedrooms on the ward feel more homely and comfortable, the remaining funds were used to purchase a Dyson fan, Echo Dots (to enable parents and babies alike to listen to soft, calming music), bedding, comfortable pillows, aromatherapy atomiser and oils and two beautiful prints in honour of Catherine, her husband Andi and Eve.
Neonatal Breastfeeding Lead, Cathy Flinn expressed her thanks and said, “The Ulster Hospital Neonatal Team are forever grateful to Catherine and her family for their extremely generous and thoughtful donations. All of their gifts will undoubtedly help so many babies and their families in what can be such a difficult time. Catherine is a true inspiration to us all!”
Catherine said, “As part of my recovery, I was encouraged to exercise, so I decided to raise some money to do something good for the Neonatal Unit after the care myself and my family received. In the month of March, which is also Eve’s birthday month, I walked a total of 5,000 steps a day.
“I wanted to celebrate being back together as a family after spending so many months in hospital after my double lung transplant surgery and I am just so grateful to everyone that followed my entire journey and to everyone that kindly donated.”