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Grateful family took on ‘Nuts Challenge’ for St Helier Hospital’s Neonatal Unit

Grateful family took on ‘Nuts Challenge’ for St Helier Hospital’s Neonatal Unit

A grateful family has fundraised for the Neonatal Unit at St Helier Hospital as a thank you for the excellent care the whole family received when their son Joey was born 10 weeks early.   

Michelle and Aaron Metz’s baby boy, Joey, arrived at 12.33am on 10 April 2013, 10 weeks before he was due. As a result, he needed to be cared for in the intensive care area of the hospital’s dedicated Neonatal Unit (which specialises in and provides emergency care for new born and premature babies) for three weeks, before being moved into the special care bay within the unit for a further two weeks.

Michelle said: “It was such a shock when Joey arrived so early, and it was scary not to be able to hold or touch him at first, but the Neonatal Team was absolutely amazing. They kept calm and spoke to me in plain English, which made it easy to understand how Joey was doing and made us feel at ease.

“They were so supportive and taught us everything I needed to know for looking after a premature baby – they made us feel ready to face the world with Joey”.

Michelle was so touched by the reassurance and support that staff on the unit provided to her and her family that she wanted to try and give something back. As such, Michelle, husband Aaron and 14 of their friends and family tackled the ‘Nuts Challenge’ on Sunday 17 March to raise money for the unit, but not only that, Joey – who is now just a few weeks away from his sixth birthday – also completed the challenge. The ‘Nuts Challenge’ is an assault course involving lots of mud, icy water, climbing and more.

Michelle set a target of £1,500 and managed to raise just over a whopping £2,700. This will go towards upgrading the parent facilities on the Neonatal Unit starting with creating a kitchen and dining area followed by the upgrade of parents bedrooms.

Michelle said, “We all enjoyed the day very much. It was cold and muddy but knowing we were raising money for this unit that meant so much to us really spurred us on”

Joey made a special after school trip during Kangaroo Care Week to the Neonatal Unit to get presented with his large cheque and to view the areas he spent his first few weeks of life along with important equipment used to care for him. As it was Kangaroo Care Week, Joey also got to see the Kangaroo Care promotion on the unit which inspired his name.

Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Director of Paediatrics, Arunava Kundu said: “We are very appreciative of what Michelle and Joey did. It is always lovely to hear positive feedback and to know when we’ve made a difference, so it is always lovely when parents want to give back by donating or fundraising money.

“We are happy to hear Joey is doing well and thank them for their donation.”

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