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Born more than 3 months early by emergency caesarean, Nick and Ashleigh’s three gorgeous boys Jay, Finn and Kye (a singleton and identical twins) spent a worrying three and half months in Wellington Regional Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before being strong enough to be allowed home.

Nick, Ashleigh and their wee boys just before they left the NICU

Babies born prematurely can face a number of critical and life threatening challenges.  They can struggle to breath on their own and often need steroids to develop their little lungs, they are also often unable to feed and find it hard to maintain a stable body temperature.  The use of Giraffe Omnibed Carestations, or ‘incubators’ as we most commonly know them, are essential in the care of critically ill and vulnerable premature babies like the Thompson Triplets.

As a tertiary hospital, Wellington’s Neonatal Unit is one of the busiest in the country and last year more than 1,000 babies from the Greater Wellington Region were cared for by the NICU’s expert team.  Bill Day, Chair of the Wellington Hospitals Foundation said, “The love and care they receive from our highly skilled Neonatal team is exceptional and helps give these precious babies the best possible start in life.”  To support their amazing work the Foundation was recently pleased to be able to buy, with Pub Charity’s wonderful support, another Giraffe Incubator.

A Giraffe Omnibed Carestation, or ‘incubator’

Ashleigh told us that it was initially incredibly difficult to have limited contact with her babies when they were “incubating”, but every day she saw them getting stronger and stronger.  “The best thing was to finally see the boys strong enough to be out of their separate pods and all together again – it was the most emotional and special moment of my life when I was finally able to hold them all at once.”

Ashleigh describes the support and care they had from friends, family and the doctors and nurses in the NICU for both their boys and themselves, as amazing – “On the hardest days some nurses would just sit with us, and that’s not in their job description!”

The Foundation would also like to thank our many wonderful volunteers who kindly provide the quilts and knitted items that keep these smallest kiwis warm and comfortable for a better start at life.

We also thank Nick and Ashleigh for sharing their incredible story with us, and wish their family well for the future.