A first-time Angus gran has launched a crowdfunder to thank NHS heroes caring for the Ne’er Day bundle of joy she is yet to meet.
Lisa Cartledge’s daughter, Becky, was rushed to Ninewells on Hogmanay after encountering problems with two months of her pregnancy still remaining.
In the early hours of January 1, Emelia Rose Ritchie became one of Tayside’s first 2021 arrivals after 28-year-old mental health nursing student Becky underwent an emergency caesarean section.
The newborn’s dad, 24-year-old Dundee University history student Keir Ritchie, was at Becky’s side for the birth, but since then Emelia has remained under the expert care of staff in the neonatal intensive care unit at Ninewells.
Community nurse Lisa, 46, has taken time off work to ferry her daughter daily from Arbroath to Ninewells but is yet to hold or kiss the family’s new addition.
Baby arrived two months early
“Emelia was born eight weeks early and she was 4lb 15oz so she was quite a good weight,” said Lisa, who also lives in Arbroath.
“She is now three weeks’ old and remains in the care of NICU.
“She’s making slow progress but there was a little setback at the start of last week so it has all been a bit of a rollercoaster.”
Lisa and husband, Ray, have had to make do with photographs and daily updates from Becky on their first grandchild’s progress.
“With lockdown we are unable to visit and we have not yet got to hold, smell, kiss or cuddle our lovely grand-daughter,” said Lisa.
“This whole situation makes it a difficult time, not only for us as a family but also staff in NICU,” added Lisa.
“I felt I just wanted to do something as a thank you to the staff who give amazing care there.
“It is not only to the babies, but also the parents.
“The staff of NICU have been there to support Becky, who does not have family or friends visiting to give advice, support and reassurance with the journey of a first baby.
Crowdfunder three-quarters of way to target within days
“As a family we just wanted to do something to show our gratitude for their care, compassion and hard work.
“Hopefully we can raise some money to give to NICU to use as they need for the unit and families that have littles ones there.
Just a couple of days after launching the £500 JustGiving effort, Lisa is three quarters of the way towards her target.
But she hopes to break the total and be able to give an ever bigger thank you to the NICU team.
Lisa added: “Becky isn’t allowed to drive for six weeks so I take her up to Ninewells every day.”
“There have been ups and downs but Emelia is getting stronger every day.
“They are thinking about introducing bottle feeds and hopefully she can continue to progress and we can soon hold her for the first time.”