Kate Bell and her partner have been raising money for the hospital unit which supported them through the premature birth and loss of their three little girls.
On 8th March, Kate gave birth to three identical triplets, Ava Grace, Elsie Anne and Orla Mary.
She was only in the second trimester of pregnancy when she gave birth to the triplets meaning the babies were all very small and at a high risk of developing life-threatening complications.
The couple would then spend the next couple of months on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Preston to monitor the babies condition.
Kate and her partner prepared for the worse but remained optimistic:
“We were all told to expect the worst but miracles do happen, as each baby Bell survived the ‘72 hour honeymoon period’ alongside other hurdles such as brain bleeds, blood on the lungs, PDA’s, Chronic Lung Disease (the list goes on).”
Despite the health problems, the couple got the chance to connect with their babies:
“As the days went by we were able to bond with our girls by performing daily ‘cares’ (checking their temperature, giving mouth care and nappy changing) and we were beginning to feel like a family.”
Tragically, over the space of two days, the couple said goodbye to two of the triplets.
“Unfortunately, Orla became very poorly and passed away on Friday 13th March and it was clear she needed her sister with her as Ava passed away on Saturday 14th March”
“Having both girls pass away in a short amount of time hit us hard as a family, with the only comfort knowing they were both together and were paving the away for little Elsie.”
Kate and her partner spent the next ten weeks caring for the third triplet, Elsie before she tragically passed away:
“As the weeks passed Elsie was going from strength to strength, overcoming huge hurdles from catching sepsis, her ROP examinations to an increase in her feeds.
“Sadly, after 10 weeks, Elsie’s sisters were calling her and she grew angel wings on Saturday 16th May. It was a huge shock, not just to us as parents, but to our family, close friends and the team on the NICU.”
Kate gave an inspiring and thoughtful thankyou message for the NICU team that supported her and her partner through the traumatic experience:
“Without a shadow of a doubt, the amazing care the baby Bells all received at Preston’s NICU allowed us to have those precious memories with all three of our daughters. The NICU is one of those places that most people are unaware of until one day you need them.
“They provided accommodation next to the hospital to allow us as a family to be as close as possible to the girls, as well as giving us the opportunity to have a lot of personal experiences with Ava, Elsie and Orla which we will treasure forever.”
Kate set up a Justgiving page to raise money for the NICU team and to promote awareness of the work the unit does. They had an original fundraising target of £1000 but have smashed that and at the time of writing have raised £7991.
A fundraiser helping the appeal told us they think they can break the second target of £8000 thanks to the generosity of people donating.
You can help Kate and her partner break their fundraising target by donating to their Justgiving page here.