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Families put the art back into our state of the art Newborn Intensive Care Unit

Ribbon CuttingFamilies from across the region whose children were born prematurely or poorly have worked with staff on the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mary's Hospital for over a year to help improve the surroundings for other families.


After moving into the new Saint Mary's in July 2009, families welcomed the fact that the new unit was full of state of the art equipment and it was much bigger and brighter than in the old hospital.  However, staff soon realised that whilst the new unit ensured we could provide babies from across the region with the best possible care, the size and the clinical setting meant it was sometimes overwhelming to the families visiting it.   It was after Sue Emms spent time here with her son, Dillon, that she approached the staff to ask if she could develop a piece of artwork to not only provide a colourful welcome but to also offer some words of comfort to families. 


Sue Emms said: "The idea behind the project was to provide a piece of artwork that could help families navigate the unit and brighten it up.  When you're on the unit, you forget what is happening outside the four walls of NICU and I think it's important for families to be given some hope.  The artwork continues throughout the unit and finishes at the Parent Accommodation.  As families then walk back out of the unit, they can read quotes from staff who work on the unit."  

It has taken over 12 months of hard work and co-ordination but on 30th August, the artAziz family in front of the photograph of duaghter Alizay, born at 25 weekswork will finally be unveiled to staff, families and everyone involved in the project.  On the day, the unit will also officially unveil the Parents' Accommodation which has undergone a mini-makeover to help improve the rooms that parents stay in.  It will also be re-named 'The Philip and Julie Neville Parent Accommodation' to recognise the huge amount of fundraising the family did for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. 

Julie Neville, who has produced 'Isabella's Story' to be placed at the entrance of the Parent Accommodation said: "Philip and I and are deeply touched and honoured for the accommodation to be named after us.  Sharing our story and being involved in such an important artwork project and have it all link together has been fantastic.  We hope that all the stories and the accommodation help to bring some comfort to families at the most difficult of times."  

The children involved in the artwork were: Isabella Neville, 7; Jasmine Nicholls, 6; Harry Goddard, 4; Alizay Aziz, 2; Dylan Emms, 2; Lloyd and Ethni Dee, 1; Frida Wright, 1; Bethany, Millie, Lucy and Ellie Holden, 1; Owen Jones, 1 and Quadesha Baker, 1.