Trevor's £7k donation gives parents privacy at most difficult time

This Is Wiltshire: Trevor Goodhall with Teresa Newcombe and Joanne Smith Trevor Goodhall with Teresa Newcombe and Joanne Smith

THE parents of premature babies at the Great Western Hospital will be allowed the rest and privacy they deserve at the most heart-breaking time in their lives thanks to a generous father who experienced the same ordeal nearly 20 years ago.

Trevor Goodall donated £7,000 to the Special Care Baby Unit, through his charity New Life, to provide an adequate area for families and a room for counsellors, doctors and parents to discuss their infants’ condition.

Just three months on and after a spell of plastering, painting and decorating, the family space and Poppy Room were officially unveiled yesterday afternoon.

While the family room already existed, it was renovated and new cosy sofas added to give the space a homely feel. The Poppy Room, designed to resemble any normal living room, was created from scratch.

Joanne Smith, senior nurse for Children’s Services, said the two new dedicated family rooms would allow parents not only to relax by watching TV or having a cup of tea but also to discuss important medical issues away from the incubators.

She said: “It will make a big difference for parents and address their emotional needs.

“When you give birth you expect the baby to be with you at home in a few hours. But these infants can be with us for many weeks.

“The Poppy Room was really needed. All we could do beforehand was speak to the parents by the cot side, which offers no privacy.

“It will allow parents to ask us questions they might find difficult if they are sat by the cot. Up until now, to be away from the cots, we had to go and find another room, or take them in an office, or speak to them in a corridor. It’s formal and clinical. Our maternity and paediatric support counsellors can now support them in a private place during their journey on the ward.”

Trevor, 50, from Marlborough, was moved to launch the charity after his premature twins Joshua and Samuel died days after being born at GWH, despite doctors’ best efforts to save them.

Since its creation in 1995 New Life has raised £200,000 towards new equipment, incubators and breathing machines at the unit, which treats premature babies or newborns in need of intensive care, as well as many other wards.

When he was contacted by staff desperate to secure funds towards the project, he just handed them the money.

“I just wanted to help them make parents more comfortable,” said the dental technician.

“My twin sons were born very tiny and very weak 18 years ago. They looked after them very well but sadly they passed away. When I was here they didn’t have anything like the Poppy Room and they spoke to us in the corridor.”

To make a donation to New Life visit www.newlifespecialcarebabies.org or contact Trevor on 07917 833173, or at trevnewlife@hotmail.com To donate to the hospital directly, email Jennifer Green at fundraising@gwh.nhs.uk

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