A CHRISTMAS appeal aims to bring festive cheer to parents and newborns spending the holidays in hospital.
Mums who have spent time in the neo-natal unit at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire are appealing for donations to ensure families can still enjoy the big day.
The funds will buy presents for some 40 babies and their families including photo baubles, selection boxes, blankets and comforters.
And with help from nurses, the gifts will be wrapped and delivered on Christmas Eve.
The unit cares for hundreds of babies every year from those born prematurely to full-term babies born with illnesses.
Natalie Ellard spent four months in the unit with baby Ted who was born at 28 weeks, weighing just under two pounds.
Ted sadly passed away at one-year-old from a heart condition.
But the Whitnash mum is determined to help support and improve life for others going through a difficult time.
She said: “When you’re on a neonatal unit for months normality goes out of the window. Your entire life is turned upside down.
“When something like Christmas, a time you would normally spend with family comes around, it’s difficult to see how you could ever have a happy day.
“The staff decorate the unit, families all receive gifts they can open together by the incubators and cots, Santa comes to visit and it genuinely is a happy day.
“For that time you’re all together, with festive music in the background, holding your baby – if you’re able, you honestly can forget you’re in hospital.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding and search UHCW Neonatal Unit to donate.