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Online raffle helps to raise funds for the neonatal ward

7082333224204131513776573587955519471484928nA mother-of-three has helped to purchase items for the neonatal ward at the West Suffolk Hospital after organising an online raffle which raised over £500.

Heidi Parish wanted to repay the staff at the hospital for the care she and her three-month-old son Eden received after he contracted Group B Strep (GBS).

It is a common type of bacteria and about 20% of women in the UK carry it.

It is found in the vagina and bowel and is usually not harmful to women that carry it but as the GBS bacteria can live here, babies can come into contact with GBS after waters break and during the process of giving birth. Most will be unaffected, but a small number of babies (around one in 2,000) can develop an infection as a result, but with quick treatment most babies can be treated successfully.

Twenty-five-year-old Heidi, who lives with her partner Declan Flaherty, 27, and their two other children Willow, two, and Aria, one, in Peter Drive, Thetford, sent out a plea for items via her children’s Instagram Page so she could then auction them off. She managed to obtain 61 prizes which she raffled off to raise a total of £540.

And from the money she obtained she purchased a variety of items for the unit including a sensory tent, breast pumps, hand pumps, muslins, dribble bibs and bottles.

She said: “The staff on the ward were just amazing with the treatment for him (Eden) and they helped to keep me sane at a very tricky time. So I tried to find ways of trying to pay them back for all the care we received and came up with the idea. I did a live raffle on Instagram after managing to get 61 items as prizes.”

Written by Russell Cook 

Pictured at the neonatal unit at the West Suffolk Hospital is Heidi Parish holding her son Eden, along with her other children Aria and Willow, with Janet Thomas, neonatal staff.


Charity Registration Number:1049223