A Middlesbrough couple have dedicated their time to helping families on the neonatal unit at The James Cook University Hospital after experiencing the heartbreak of saying goodbye to their three babies.
Adelle and Andy Hodgson have donated more than 100 bespoke outfits to give to premature babies at James Cook in memory of their son Rocco and daughters Angel and Reeva.
The couple were devastated to lose baby Rocco in 2017 and then twins Angel and Reeva in 2020.
Despite everything they have been through, Adelle and Andy have ensured their memory lives on by raising funds to buy tiny items of clothing for other premature babies on the unit.
Adelle said it was at a scan around 18 weeks when her cervix was found to be open which meant she had to go straight to the delivery suite to give birth to their baby girl Angel.
At 23 weeks and six days Angel’s twin sister, Reeva, was born weighing just 610g and she was transferred to the neonatal unit where she lived for just 11 days.
“When Reeva was born she was so small,” said Adelle. “When she passed the nurses said that we could dress her or they could do it for us. We asked if they could and when they brought her back she was lost in this big outfit. It was probably the smallest they had but it was way too big for her.
“The memory stays with you forever. You want your baby to look comfy and snug in their first outfit.”
In the months that followed Adelle’s sister decided to raise money for the unit in memory of her nephew and nieces by running multiple marathons.
“When my sister said she was going to start fundraising in memory of our babies I knew I wanted the money to go towards some small outfits for the babies in the unit,” added Adelle.
“One of the things that would have massively changed our experience was if Reeva had some clothes that fit her, but it’s not something you plan for. That’s why I wanted to provide them for future families.”
Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic the family have already raised more than £2,000 which is now helping to make a special difference to other parents on the unit.
Lynn Paterson, clinical director for neonatology at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like to thank Adelle and Andy for their thoughtfulness and amazing fundraising that has been done for the neonatal unit. We are so privileged that out of such a tragic experience, parents offer acts of kindness to those who come after them. They are an amazing family and their selfless act will touch many families in the years to come.”