The Mangakahia Lions Club have kicked off their 50th anniversary celebrations by donating funds to Health Fund PLUS to purchase lifesaving equipment for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Whangarei Hospital.
The funds were used to purchase a new sleep apnoea monitor for use on premature babies in SCBU. These monitors check the respiratory rate of infants, and if they stop breathing for more than 20 seconds, an alarm will sound.
SCBU associate clinical nurse manager Merophy Brown said having a new sleep apnoea monitor to use in the Unit means they can share other units they have with the Children’s Ward and lend them out to parents who need to monitor their babies after they leave the hospital.
Little Jay Junior (JJ) Thompson has been using the new monitor since it arrived in the Unit. JJ will be heading home today for the first time since he was born in March at just 27 weeks at Auckland Hospital.
He weighed 805 grams at birth and spent his first two months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Auckland before being transferred to SCBU where he has been for the past four months. Now JJ is a healthy nine pounds, his parents John and Tania Thompson get to take him home with the aide of oxygen and a monitor.
Tania said it means a lot to have this equipment donated and she is extremely thankful to all the staff that have helped them out since he was born.
The Club raised the $1880 required for the equipment by cutting and selling over 100m3 of firewood and held several golf tournaments all with the goal of supporting children in hospital. Club president Ray Webb said because nearly all their club members have children and grandchildren, they understand how valuable equipment like this is for the community.
The anniversary isn’t until October, but Ray said they have several other projects planned to commemorate their anniversary.
The money they donated was distributed by Northland Community Foundation through Health Fund PLUS which has been set up by Northland DHB and the Foundation to provide a way for people to give to the DHB by way of donations or endowments.
Health Fund PLUS enables Northland DHB to purchase equipment and services over and above what can be purchased through Government funding, helping the organisation provide the best quality healthcare possible to the people of Northland.
Giving is easy. People can give a regular donation, a one-off gift, or there is an option to make provisions in your Will. The first thing is to contact the Northland Community Foundation to talk about your idea for a gift and discuss how you would like to contribute.
Call Northland Community Foundation on 021 558 224 at any time for all the information you need.
Image: JJ Thompson is now ready to go home after four months in SCBU.