Danderhall woman’s charity ball for baby unit

Sophie and Bonnie Avis (left) and Charlotte Avis from Danderhall.
Sophie and Bonnie Avis (left) and Charlotte Avis from Danderhall.

A Danderhall woman is fundraising for Simpsons Special Care Babies, after twice receiving specialist care from the neonatal unit.

Rachael Avis was a patient when she had her daughter Charlotte 15 weeks early in 2013, weighing just 1lb 4oz. And again five years later in 2018 when she gave birth to twin daughters Sophie and Bonnie 12 weeks early.

Rachael said: “I have first hand experience of the neonatal unit and I’m currently in a unique position where I have experienced the unit on two occasions with a gap of five years. In 2013, my daughter Charlotte was born at 25 weeks.

“She was born extremely pre-term, and faced many bumps in the road such as meningitis, septicaemia on two occasions, various resuscitations, respiratory support, bloods transfusions to name a few.

“Five years ago, we were brand new parents and didn’t know what to expect.

“The neonatal team are incredible, informative and inclusive though I realised then they lacked a space specifically for parents to be alone, a private place to reflect, a place for making a simple cup of tea or a fridge to put our lunch.

“Five years on, my twin daughters made an appearance at 28 weeks. Again, we found ourself in the neonatal unit.”

Rachael is holding a charity ball at Edinburgh Corn Exchange on October 25, with a red carpet arrival and welcome drinks, speakers from the Simpsons charity, parents sharing experiences, raffle prizes,a silent auction and music from Clanadonia.

She said: “Despite having advanced medicines and machines, the unit still lacks a private space for parents and families. Simpson Special Care are aware that this is an issue and have come up with a plan of action. Unfortunately the cost of this is near £300,000, with none of this being funded via the health service. The aim of my charity ball is to contribute as much as we can for this project.

“From personal experience, I know first hand how traumatic a neonatal experience can be. Actually, the post traumatic stress from a neonatal stay is linked to that of a war veteran. This is why it is so important to support this cause, to create better mental health for parents, siblings, families and carers.

“We aim to raise as much money as we can, to say thank you and to contribute towards the new space for parents.”

To donate raffle or auction items for the ball, email rachael.avis@icloud.com.

You can purchase tickets for the charity ball at - www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/simpsons-charity-ball-tickets-62513680100. Donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rachael-avis/feedback?utm_term=