Pictured on the left is baby Ben with Daddy Brian, taken in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, when he was about four weeks old and the right is parents
A local couple are currently undertaking fundraising efforts for the special care baby unit [SCBU] at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise.
Parents, Brian and Sarah Clare Pearson hosted a vital fundraiser recently for the unit, which is a cause very close to their hearts. They held a a coffee day and raffle in Ballaghmore, Borris-in-Ossory on Saturday, January 5 last and have raised over €2,700 to date. But, the pair are encouraging people to continue donating to this very worthy cause as they are so close to a total of €3,000.
Both Brian and Sarah would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone, who supported their fundraiser for the SCBU. Whether people bought tickets, called into the house for the coffee day or donated on their Go Fund Me page, they are so “very grateful”, they told the Tribune this week.
“We are delighted to have raised over €2,700 to date but we couldn't have done it without the support of the local community. We are so close to three thousand euro it would be great to give them that much,” they enthused.
They wanted to firstly say a massive thank you to Bernie's Super Valu Roscrea for their support and allowing them to sell raffle tickets on their premises on Friday, January 4 last. They had 35 prizes for their raffle and they would like to particularly thank the following companies for their assistance: Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Swimtastic Athy, Heyday Studio Portlaoise, Bernie's Super Valu Roscrea, Shaws Department Store, AgriSpec Rathdowney, Diacritic House, G's Jams Abbeyleix, SuperValu Rathdowney, Hanrahans Restaurant Rathdowney, Fontunes Fashions Rathdowney, Flynns Medical Hall Rathdowney, Unique Hair Studio Rathdowney, The Willow Tree Restaurant Rathdowney, John Cahill Butchers Rathdowney, Frawleys Pharmacy Roscrea, Parkers Restaurant Roscrea, Tommy Fleming Concerts, Kelly Lou Portlaoise, Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise, Midland Park Hotel Portlaoise, Templemore Arms, Nook & Cranny Portlaoise, Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, Petals Florist Roscrea, Hobbs Jewellers Roscrea, Roisin's Loft Ballaghmore, Drennan's Butchers Roscrea, Maddens Pharmacy Roscrea, Creation Hair Studio Roscrea, Coffey's Pharmacy Roscrea, Pattersons Roscrea and The Ugly Duckling Roscrea.
Fundraising for the unit is a cause very close to both Sarah and Brian's hearts. Two of their little boys, Ben and Alex, were looked after in the unit and both parents described it as “amazing”.
“We are only privileged to try and help this amazing unit. It is where our boys Ben, now six and Alex now three spent the first four-six weeks of their life there after being born at 32 weeks. Even though our third child Matt, now 20 months old, was born at 36 weeks we were lucky that he was healthy enough to stay with me and not go to SCBU.”
“It is very scary and daunting to have a tiny fragile baby born and then to face a unit we knew nothing about. All the machines, tubes, incubator and the medical terminology but the staff there took us under their wings and guided, supported and helped us so much.”
“They don’t just give round the clock care to our babies but they are there for the parents too. It is very difficult to go home and leave your baby behind but knowing they are getting the best care and helping hand they require to help them on the road home.”
Like many others, Sarah thought the special care baby unit would receive all of their funding from the HSE, but it does not. “We would have presumed that they get all their funding from the HSE but unfortunately not. They are hoping for extra equipment such as cubical screens, heated cots, breast pumps and other items,” she concluded.
If anyone would like to support the fundraiser the Go Fund Me page is still open and you can donate on the link www.gofundme.com/special-care-baby-unit-portlaoise-fundraiser?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_cpgnstaticsmall_r or check out the Tribune's Facebook page where the link is posted.