'Leaving our baby was heartbreaking'

Saturday 10th August 2019 5:00 am
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Rob and Sienna – his baby daughter who was born five weeks early when her mother suffered severe pre-eclampsia ()

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FIRST-time Fernhurst parents Rob and Sadie Elford are on a mission to support the Royal Surrey County Hospital charity’s Closer to Care campaign to transform care for babies born prematurely.

When their daughter Sienna was born five weeks early on February 23, weighing a tiny three pounds and 15 ounces, she was taken to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) for constant supervision and they were unable to stay with her.

Sadie said: “After five days in hospital I was discharged without Sienna, who needed to stay in a while longer.

“The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to go home without my baby, it felt like I had left a piece of my heart behind. ”

It was due to their experience that Rob and Sadie vowed to support the charity, which needs to raise £500,000 to redevelop the hospital’s SCBU, so families have the option to stay overnight next to their babies’ cots.

Plans for the new unit will also include a family room, which will offer much-needed privacy for families receiving sensitive news, and a separate space for siblings to play and for visitors to gather.

To raise money for the new unit, the couple has organised an epic eight-hour spin marathon – The Big Spin for Tiny Babies – to be held on October 12 at CYC:D Fitness Studio in Haslemere.

Sadie and Rob are encouraging people to join them in the challenge, or to sign up to take part in an exercise class at the studio on the day.

Rob said: “Having the option to stay with Sienna would have made a huge difference to me as a new dad. Leaving her at the hospital left me heartbroken and as if I’d failed in my duties as a dad.”

For more details, visit rschcharity.org.uk/the-big-spin-for-tiny-babies and rschcharity.org.uk/closertocare

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