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Annette's story

26 April 2016

Bliss has been chosen to be WRc’s Charity of the Year for 2016 following a nomination from one of their members of staff, Annette. Here, she explains why she nominated Bliss:

“In 2013, when I was seven months pregnant and expecting my first child, I finished work and went home feeling a bit ill. During the night I woke knowing that I needed to go to hospital and my husband - who is usually extremely capable and in-control - nearly fainted. Helpful.

When I arrived at the hospital I had a series of visits from doctors, midwives, anaesthetists and paediatricians, and my little boy Oscar was born eight weeks early. I told family and friends on Facebook: 'He’s fine, just needs to grow a bit before he can come home'. I lied.

Oscar was in an incubator in a strange room with thousands of wires attached to him. He also kept forgetting to breathe. Strangers told us how to hold him, how to test his feeding tube, how to give him milk. Tears and laughter (and more tears) were shed with the kind lady sat at the next incubator.

Days and days passed in what became the Big Brother House. We exited through the back entrance, as there were too many proud parents clutching car seats full of brand new 'big' babies going home at the front.

Oscar came home weighing little more than 4lbs. Home was scary. There was no breathing monitor, no temperature checks, no constant medical supervision, and a Health Visitor with no experience of premature babies.

The kindness shown by others was light in the darkness, as well as the support from Bliss. Information on what to expect, how to communicate with your baby, small bags of goodies, and a helpline – a friendly ear in those months that followed. Without their support I think I would have gone completely, completely mad.

Bliss works with healthcare professionals to ensure that care for babies on the neonatal unit is of the highest standard, they invest in research to improve the quality of life for premature and sick babies, and campaign to ensure these babies receive consistent, high quality care. But of extreme importance to me is the work that Bliss does in supporting families. I can’t thank them enough.”

If you would like to nominate Bliss as your company's charity of the year, please get in touch with corporate@bliss.org.uk.

WRc held an awards ceremony on Tuesday 26 April, and an innovation day on Wednesday 27 April to celebrate innovation and drive collaboration in the UK water industry. Bliss attended these events to raise awareness of the vital work we do for babies born premature or sick. WRc are raising money throughout the year to support this work, to help them please visit justgiving.com/WRc-plc.

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