Grateful couple's fund-raising ball for N&N neonatal unit

Dan GrimmerBetween them Matilda and Lily Rose Davies have spent more than seven months being cared for in the neonatal unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.Dan Grimmer

Between them Matilda and Lily Rose Davies have spent more than seven months being cared for in the neonatal unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Both battled against the odds and now their parents Louise and Danny want to give something back to the dedicated staff by holding a summer ball to raise funds for the unit.

Mrs Davies, 29, suffered preeclampsia - a pregnancy complication in which women develop high blood pressure and other potentially dangerous symptoms - when she was 28 weeks pregnant with Matilda, who is now seven.

Matilda, known to her family as 'Tilly', weighed just 1lb 4oz and spent more than three months at the neonatal unit where staff battled to save her.

Then last year Mrs Davies was confronted with more worrying news when a 20 week scan on baby Lily Rose revealed she was not developing as she should be.

At 26 weeks Lily Rose was delivered via an emergency caesarean but weighed just 14oz.

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Mrs Davies, 30, said: 'It was a terrifying time. The doctors were not sure if I had preeclampsia again. The placenta was not feeding the baby properly and she wasn't developing which was really scary.

'To have one premature baby is traumatic but to have two is a nightmare.'

Lily Rose was born on June 26 last year but on July 10 she contracted an infection in her navel and she was put on a life support machine. She developed septicaemia and consequently lost all the toes on her right foot and was left with mild brain damage.

Mrs Davies from Old Rectory Road in Brunstead, near Stalham and her 37-year-old husband are not planning on having any more children because of the possible high risk involved but they want to show their gratitude to the unit.

She said: 'I believe because of the level of outstanding care and expertise both my daughters had they were able to flourish and progress very well.

'The care and attention the girls got was amazing and the staff were so understanding and supportive. We have so much to thank them for as we have two lovely girls. Lily Rose is really doing so much better now and Tilly has done brilliantly too.

'We want to organise this ball to help them buy equipment. People don't realise how much equipment costs at the unit - an incubator is �4,000 and a vapotherm which helps babies breathe is about �4,000.

'We want to raise as much money as possible for equipment which will help save other children.'

A spokesman for the N&N said: 'It's really generous or Mr and Mrs Davies to organise this event. It was a pleasure looking after their two daughters and this fundraising will help other pre-term babies who need support.

'We are hoping to buy another vapotherm machine which helps pre-term babies to breathe more easily when they step down from being ventilated.'

The ball will be at 7.30pm on June 11 at the Sutton Staithe Hotel in Stalham off the A149. A small entrance fee will be charged and there will be a raffle and various games and prizes as well as a live band.

For tickets and more information call Mr and Mrs Davies on 01692 584967.