Ballyclare couple showing support for neonatal unit

A Ballyclare couple are raising funds for the neonatal unit at Antrim Area Hospital where medical staff cared for their premature son.

Bertie Davison, who turned one on Saturday (February 26), was born at 30 weeks and three days following an emergency C-section.

Bertie, who weighed 2 lb 2oz at his lowest weight, still faces a number of challenges a year on, but his parents are keen to help other families who may find themselves in a similar position.

Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, his father Mark said: “Bertie is our miracle baby. My wife Emma and I had been told we couldn’t have children and we were in the final stages of the fostering process with Barnardos when we found out at 27 weeks and three days that we were expecting.

Bertie with his parents Emma and Mark.
Bertie with his parents Emma and Mark.
Bertie with his parents Emma and Mark.

“However, at 30 weeks and three days there were concerns that I’d lose both Emma and our baby and she underwent an emergency section.

“Bertie then had a bleed on the brain, but this corrected itself. We spent seven weeks in the neonatal unit at Antrim from birth.

“He has had further stays in the Royal Victoria Hospital and Antrim, including 10 days for bronchitis, getting home on Friday (February 25).

“He’s got a milk protein allergy and had to get an operation after developing a hernia, but he’s our wee fighter.

“The girls at Anrim’s neonatal unit treated us like part of the family. They look after the child and the parents. They were aware that support services on the outside of the hospital were limited due to Covid-19 and they really looked after us.

“We were there over Mother’s Day and Easter and they got us mugs and chocolate eggs. Wee things like that when things aren’t going so well really made a difference.

“There’s a culture at the hospital, from the cleaners to the doctors, with everyone giving you the time of day and you can build relationships with them.

“We want to raise a bit of money to give back and help other families who may be going through similar situations.”

An online fundraising page has been set up to collect money for the facility. It will remain open for donations until March 14.

At the time of going to print, approximately £1,600 has been donated. If you would like to make a donation, click here

Mark added: “We’d like to thank everyone who has donated through the page or in cash. A special word of thanks to Councillor Michael Stewart who shared our appeal on Love Ballyclare. It has really helped highlight our effort. Hopefully we can help those who need the support in their time of need.”


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