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NICU parents' unit welcomes first family
NEWBORN twins and their parents are the first family to benefit from new family accommodation at Salisbury District Hospital’s neo-natal unit.
Leo and Ollie Willis were born a month and a half early on October 9, weighing just 3lb 2oz and 4lb 6oz respectively.
Before the family accommodation at the new unit, which was funded by £400, 000 raised through the hospital’s Stars Appeal, opened last week, their parents, Gemma and Luke, would have faced commuting from their Tidworth home each day to be with their babies.
But thanks to the appeal and the huge support it has received from the people of Salisbury and south Wiltshire, the new parents have been able to stay with their babies.
Mrs Willis, 27, said: “This new unit is brilliant. It makes you feel like you can be a proper family despite everything that’s going on. It means we can stay next to our babies and be much more involved in their care, which is so important to us.”
Her husband, a 26-year-old soldier stationed with 3 Mercian Regiment in Tidworth, said: “Until this happens to you, you don’t really know anything about it, but when you’re going through it to have a place like this which has been brought about by people’s selfless commitment to raise funds is amazing.”
The dedicated accommodation, attached directly to the NICU, consists of four en-suite bedrooms, playroom, lounge, kitchen, quiet room and multi-purpose education room.
Dave Cates, director of fundraising at the Stars Appeal said: “It is wonderful to see this important new facility helping local families and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped to make this possible.
“Their support will directly benefit many hundreds of local families who experience the birth of a baby born too small, too sick, or too soon over the years to come and they should feel rightly proud of what they have achieved.”