Indie’s Gift is an amazing charity that helps to support families in neonatal units throughout the UK when their baby arrives far too soon.
The charity provides baby clothes and basic supplies for the parents who, in many cases have found themselves in a hospital miles away from home because their nearest hospital doesn’t have a NICU sufficiently equipped to care for their baby.
There are many wonderful charities that work tirelessly to raise funds for neonatal units and provide the equipment, staff and training so that all babies needing to stay on NICU receive the best care possible. Indie’s gift however, focuses on the parents of these babies by sending packs containing essential items such as toothbrush and paste as well as little luxuries such as chocolate bars to try and ease even a tiny portion of the stress of having a sick baby.
Indie’s mum Stacey founded the charity.
This is her story.
Indie Evelina was born on 2nd September 2013, at 29 weeks gestation weighing 2lb 5oz.
An unexpected early arrival, she was critically ill.
After waters breaking in Hereford County Hospital, we were transferred to Gloucester Royal Hospital, where she was delivered by emergency caesarean section.
After 4 hours of initial stabilisation, Indie was transferred to the RNICU
(Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) St. Michaels Hospital in Bristol for life saving Nitric Oxide treatment.
Indie was on life support for 15 days, including ventilation, oscillation, nitric oxide, paralysis drugs and a variety of sliding scale drugs which helped her to mature before she finally could breathe for herself. She continued on CPAP, Bubble CPAP, High Flow and Low Flow until she was fully back in ‘air’ and breathing unaided.
She was transferred back to Gloucester for a few days, before heading home to Hereford County Hospital.
Indie defied all the odds against her, she overcame a brain haemorrhage, a heart murmur and the other challenges a premature baby faces, apart from being super tiny, she was healthy.
The 17th October 2013, was the happiest day of our lives, Indie was able to
Weighing in at a tiny 4lbs, but perfect in every way.
Coming home was incredibly special, not only because we had a healthy, beautiful daughter but we have 2 other children, whose life had also been turned upside down by Indie’s sudden arrival. It meant our life could resume some normality, I would be able to spend time with all my children, rather than split between SCBU and home.
The following weeks were full of doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, health visitor appointments etc, but everything went well. Indie was gaining weight, albeit slowly, she was getting there.
On the 22nd November 2013, our lives were to change forever.
Our perfect little girl passed away at 3:50am.
We later found through postmortem and investigations that Indie is likely to have died from SIDs.
As a mum, this makes me feel cheated.
Cheated because we did all the ‘hard work’. The minutes, hours, days, weeks sat by the incubator praying she would make it through, Indie proving what stern stuff she was made of by making the ‘perfect’ recovery, for her to stolen away from us when she was just settling into our family.
Personally, I’ve had every range of emotion for a human to possibly feel.
Anger, desperation, sadness, helplessness, sorrow, devastation to name but a few, but as the days turned into weeks since Indie passed, the overwhelming feeling I had was one of gratitude. Grateful that I got those precious 11 weeks with my daughter.
Without the support of doctors and nurses at all 3 hospitals that we resided in, we would not have had those 11 weeks and I felt compelled to do something, anything to be able to pay back what they gave us. Nothing will ever be enough for these unsung saints in the hospital SCBU/NICU departments, but if we could just do something to help. After a few days of thinking, Indie’s Gift was born.
Our aim is to provide ClothPacks and NeoPacks to the SCBU/NICU in order to help ease a tiny portion of the stress facing parents of children who start life in SCBU.
Many of the parents on the unit whose babies are born prematurely order one of the beautiful ‘Neoboxes’ which contain little clothes just the right size for tiny, early babies. They’re always so pleased and excited when the parcel arrives and in many cases it is these clothes that the babies wear when they are finally well enough to be dressed for the first time.
The day when their baby is too big for the Indie’s gift clothes is always a happy one as it means that their baby is becoming bigger and stronger and one step closer to going home. The parents often donate the clothes to the unit for other babies to wear and will often donate other clothes that their little one has grown out of when they do finally leave the unit to go home and start their lives together as a family.
Thank you Stacey and the rest of the Indie’s Gift team.
Your little one will never be forgotten.
For more information, to make a donation or to sponsor a gift pack please visit http://www.indiesgift.co.uk.