Uncle in Cots for Tots pledge

A hospital worker who has been 'amazed' at the care his premature nephew is receiving in a neonatal unit has pledged to fundraise towards some new cots.

Matthew May's nephew Leo was born at 28 weeks on Wednesday, November 24, weighing 2lb 8oz.

Mr May, who lives off Colman Road in Norwich, is now hoping to boost the Cots for Tots appeal by the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hopsital by organising a skydive.

The 30-year-old, who is employed at the hospital as a theatre support worker, said: 'The unit has been amazing. The work they do is fantastic and all the staff have been so helpful the entire time my little nephew has been there.

'Through my job I have been up to the unit quite often before, to bring babies over to theatre, but even then I didn't really know about how much they did or the Cots for Tots appeal until I started chatting to the nurses.'

Mr May already has 15 people signed up to take part in the skydive, on April 15, 2011, and is hoping to get a minimum of 20. The N&N is appealing for the public's help in raising �500,000 for four new cots.

More than 850 babies each year are cared for at the unit, but demand is rising and it needs to expand. Currently the Norwich-based unit can look after 28 babies at any one time, but as one of only three specialist neonatal units in the East and serving families from across Norfolk and Suffolk and beyond, it can regularly be full.

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Half a million pounds would pay for four more intensive care or high-dependency incubators, and the associated building work and kitting-out needed.

With the public's help, Nicu hopes to get the four new cots up and running by autumn 2011.

Each participant for the skydive needs to raise a minimum of �300, �170 of which will go towards the cost of the skydive and a �50 deposit need to be paid by mid January, 2011, to confirm the booking.

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Mr May on 01603 455923 or by email at mattylee_2@hotmail.com.

To donate to the Cots for Tots appeal, log on to www.justgiving.com/norwichnicu. Alternatively, send a cheque payable to the NNUH NHS Foundation Trust with 'NICU Cot Expansion Fund F300' written on the back of the cheque and send to Communications, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.