A local couple has donated vital equipment to Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) following their amazing fundraising efforts.
Chloe and Martin Shiels, from Swinley in Wigan, wanted to raise money for the unit following the birth of their twin boys Solomon and Xander in May 2022.
The twins were cared for by the NICU team who helped Chloe deliver the boys into the world six weeks prematurely, before they were put onto ventilators in incubators to stabilise whilst Chloe recovered.
To thank the NICU team, Martin raised funds for the unit by taking part in the Wigan 10k on Sunday 11th September, as he would often go out running whilst Chloe was pregnant to help with his mental wellbeing.
Martin’s target was to reach £250, however he smashed this goal and finished with over £1,400 worth of donations, with which he was able to purchase three wall mounted thermometers, along with baby grows, blankets and bibs which were later presented to the team by the family.
Martin spoke on why he decided to raise money for NICU and what their work means to the couple saying: “Before we had the twins, Chloe and I had never had any experiences with neonatal intensive care and having to go on the unit was a daunting and worrying time.
“However, the amazing support we had for our boys was really touching. The staff on the unit really supported us and taught us so much, but most importantly they helped get our boys strong and home to our family.
“I wanted to give something back and raise awareness for what they do and the families and babies they look after so well.”
Chloe added how thankful she was for the work the team on the NICU did for their family, explaining: “We don’t think there are enough words, we will be forever grateful and will never forget the midwives and nurses who helped us through.
“They really are incredible, from them being on breathing machines to just changing their nappies, we learned so much and were so impressed with how well they do their job.”
Cathy Stanford, Divisional Director of Midwifery and Neonates said: “On behalf of the NICU team at WWL, I would like to say a huge thank you to Martin running the Wigan 10k to raise funds for the unit. All the money raised helps towards funding for vital equipment that will make a real difference to the babies in our care.”
Martin also expressed his gratitude to those who donated saying: “I’m overwhelmed as I did not expect that much at all in donations, but honestly the team really do deserve every penny and more.
“It is all for a good cause, but people are kind especially when things are hard financially at the moment for everyone, people are just so nice.”