Nottinghamshire couple’s drive to help families after baby’s death

Nottinghamshire couple’s drive to help families after baby’s death
Nottinghamshire couple’s drive to help families after baby’s death

Image source, Family photo

Image caption, Leanne and Ryan want to help other babies and their parents following Rosie’s death
Article information
  • Author, Caroline Lowbridge
  • Role, BBC News, Nottingham
  • 2 hours ago

A couple whose daughter died 30 days after being born has raised thousands of pounds to help other premature babies.

Leanne and Ryan want to provide hundreds of small cloth comforters to premature babies cared for at Nottingham’s two hospitals.

They said the comforters, known as Miniboos, “made a huge difference” to them and their baby Rosie.

They are designed to be soothing and help premature babies smell their parents even when they are in an incubator.

‘Still a comfort’

Leanne, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, said one of Rosie’s comforters had helped them even since she died.

“We will cherish ours forever,” she said.

“We kept one of them and Rosie was cremated with hers, so we know she always had one and we will always have one.

“It’s still a comfort, it really is.”

Image source, Family photo

Image caption, Leanne said the comforters “made a huge difference” to them and Rosie

Leanne and her partner Ryan had been trying to have a baby for 10 years when she became pregnant with Rosie following IVF.

Leanne described getting pregnant as “a miracle”, and it particularly meant a lot because Ryan’s parents had died shortly before, within six weeks of each other.

Rosie was born at 24 weeks on 15 February, weighing only 1lb 7oz (652g).

Leanne gave birth at King’s Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire, but due to Rosie’s condition she was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Nottingham City Hospital.

‘Really proud’

Rosie’s parents said she navigated heavy medication, sepsis scares, seizure scares, emergency reintubation and bleeding on the brain, but “took it all in her stride” and “smashed it.”

However, she died on March 16 due to renal failure.

“Rosie being born was everything to us,” said Leanne.

“We are really proud of what she achieved, and what we are going to achieve in her name.”

Image source, Family photo

Image caption, Rosie’s parents want to provide comforters for hundreds of other families

Rosie’s parents have set themselves a target of £10,000 so they can buy 500 Miniboo packs, which would provide enough for every baby in Nottingham’s two NICU units for a year.

Despite describing this as a “crazy, ambitious” target, they have already raised more than half.

“We thought if we could provide one family with the comfort we got from the Miniboo we would be happy,” said Leanne.

“It’s providing us with so much comfort knowing that although we’ve lost Rosie it’s going to make a massive difference to the parents on the unit in Rosie’s name.”

‘Changed the game’

As well as Miniboos being designed to soothe babies, Rosie’s parents used theirs to support the wires keeping her alive, to stop them digging into her skin.

Rosie had one and her parents had one, and they kept swapping them so she could get used to their scents.

They said the comforter stopped them from being afraid to touch Rosie because it made her look less fragile.

“As soon as my friend gave us our MiniBoo it just changed the game completely,” said Leanne.

Image source, Family photo

Image caption, Leanne said she was “really proud” of what Rosie achieved in her short life

Money has been raised through donations online and offline, and Ryan’s brother is also being sponsored to do a Couch to 5K run.

Additionally, the family are holding a charity ice hockey match at the National Ice Center in Nottingham on 26 May.

Anyone can attend the event, which is free, and starts at 19:00 BST.

The players will pay to play and money will also be raised through a cake sale and raffle.

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