Author Archives: Louise Carroll

Personalised Letters from Santa- Back for 2021!

Tiny Lives have had some exciting news direct from the North Pole!  Santa has kindly offered to once again, write and post some very special letters.

These letters are a perfect way for ALL families to help support premature and sick babies and families on the RVI Neonatal Unit. You don’t have to have spent time on the Unit to order some, they’re available to everyone!

The Santa letters are personalised for each child and will contain magical North Pole ‘snow’! We suggest a £5 or £10 donation per letter (you can choose at the checkout), which includes postage costs – although anything you can give will be very much appreciated. The funds raised from the sale of these letters will go a long way to supporting families on the RVI Neonatal Unit through this festive period and beyond.  

Letters can be ordered here and the elves will be popping them into the post from Monday 6th December.

Luke and Paul’s Hike to Hospitals…

 

On Friday 17th September we met one of our kind supporters from Cumbria, Luke Evans along with his partner Natasha, their eldest son Harry.  

They have supported Tiny Lives with a family fun day held in June 2021 raising over £2k and the latest challenge Luke set himself was a 140 mile walk from Whitehaven, Cumbria, along the Hadrian’s Wall route all the way to the RVI all in loving memory of their youngest son Arthur, who passed away on the unit in January 2021.  

But when Luke got to the RVI to meet his family, a member of staff from the unit and Louise from Tiny Lives, his walk was still not complete.  Luke took on the miles with his friend Paul (and Paul’s 2 dogs) Paul took on this challenge to support the Freeman Hospital in respect of his 3-year-old son receiving care from them when born.  After a week of walking, they managed to rest their legs a little at the RVI before finally finishing their 142 miles at the Freeman Hospital, where Paul’s family were waiting to greet them.

Louise said “It was lovely to meet the family face to face, to thank them for all their support to Tiny Lives and the moment little Harry ran towards his dad, it bought tears to my eyes.  We would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has support Luke and Natasha with their fundraising for Tiny Lives, helping us with our ongoing support to the families, babies and staff on the unit”. 

Luke has raised £1,700 from his walk – well done!!!

Newcastle Dragon Boat Race 2021!

 

Have you got a workplace that’s competitive? – Are you and your mates competitive? – Or could you take on this challenge with a boat of strangers?

Well, you could be the perfect team/individual, to take part in the Newcastle Dragon Boat Race 2021, which is to take place on Saturday 2nd October along the River Tyne.   Your family and friends can come along a cheer you on too as there’s lots going on for the spectators throughout the day.

Not only would you be taking on this unique boat race, along the Tyne.  You will also be supporting 2 local charities – Tiny Lives and Chuf.

To register or for more information about the day, contact Louise at Tiny Lives or Philip one of the organisers 

vCreate-First-Ever Video Diaries Day!

Today is the FIRST-EVER Video Diaries Day!

vCreate allows for staff to share videos of babies with their parents, helping them to bond even when they can’t physically be together

At Tiny Lives we are so proud to fund the service at the RVI’s Neonatal Unit. Since Nov 1st 2018 to end of August 2021 the unit has helped 371 families, sent 1,123 videos and 2, 651 photos.

We also supply iPads and accessories to the Unit to facilitate this system.

#Team Tiny Lives-GNR 2021 Weekend-Thank You!

 

WHAT A WEEKEND!

On Saturday we had lots of Mini and Junior Great North Runners – thank you to each and everyone of you, it means so much to us to have such amazing little supporters. 

We are still grinning from ear to ear after being able to see so many of our supporters face to face at yesterday’s Great North Run. 

A huge thank you to each and every runner who took part over the weekend and raised vital funds for the babies and families we  support.

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser said “The Great North Run is always such a special day for us at Tiny Lives and this year has been no different.  Our GNR 2021 runners have been incredible and we cannot thank them all enough. It has been one to remember!  Looking forward to seeing some of you again next year”  

Thank you to our sponsors MTrec and Mila Rosina’s Café  and to our team of volunteers for being a part of this fantastic event and helping to make it all possible. 

 

If you would like to join #TeamTinyLives for #GNR2022 click here

 

Parent’s Story- Lee & April- Great North Run Special

 

One of our wonderful supporters Lee is taking on the GNR 2021 along with 150 other Tiny Lives Runners and thousands of runners taking part in the GNR on 12th September 2021. 

Here’s Lee and April’s story on why they are supporting Tiny Lives:-

Reuben

Reuben’s Story

“On 6.12.2019 we brought Reuben into the world. Reuben was born with a Left Sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Our care was transferred from Durham hospital to the RVI for further checks following our 19 week scan, where the diagnosis was confirmed. After weekly scans we found out that Reubens case was severe and he was only given 30% chance of survival following an MRI scan. At 28weeks we travelled to London after being referred to Kings College Hospital in hope of being accepted onto a trial for FETO where we were told after a consultation that this was not possible. At 37 weeks, Mam (April) was taken in for extra caution due to Polyhydramnios and an Induction was booked for two days later. After a 48hour labour we finally welcomed Reuben to the world. The room was full of so many doctors/midwives/nurses/neonatal team when Reuben was born and he was taken straight to the neonatal ward where we finally got to see him a couple of hours later. Reuben was on the high flow machine and endless medication to try and make him better but everything the neonatal team tried they couldn’t help him enough. The Freeman team visited Reuben to see if he could be transferred to their hospital so he could be put on the ECMO machine but he was too poorly to travel. We had family to visit the day Reuben was born and we had him baptised in the neonatal ward… although this was not what we ever wished for, the staff made this as special as they could for us. In the early hours of 7.12.2019 we were told to come and see Reuben as he had turned a corner for the worst. We sat with Reuben and the consultant told us that he was going to pass away that day and they had tried everything that they could. We will never forget that moment and our hearts were instantly broken. We spent the morning with Reuben and the staff helped us move him to the bereavement room where we had our own time with him and finally got the cuddles that we always wanted with him. Together we made the decision that no parents ever want to and we decided to let Reuben come off the machines and he peacefully passed away in our arms. The staff on the neonatal ward were so comforting and they gave us as much time as we wanted with him, they allowed us to bath him, take family photos with him and they allowed our families to come and grieve with us. We had to stay on the antenatal ward for that night and Reuben stayed with in a cuddle cot provided by Tiny Lives”. 

“We have since been back and spoke about our time with one of the consultants and he reassured us about everything that happened over the 24hours we spent on the ward with Reuben”.

 

Oliver

Oliver’s Story

“On 25.5.2021 to our joy our second born son Oliver was born at Durham hospital by C-Section, and two hours after birth he developed some problems with his breathing. He was taken for checks by the Neonatal team and was put onto CPAP in Durham. After 48 hours Durham had to transfer Oliver’s care to the RVI as they did not have the facility to carry on his care. The RVI neonatal team came to assess Reuben and they transported him in a special travel incubator which is funded by Tiny Lives. They gave Oliver his mini boo and we next saw him on ward 35. This was both a daunting experience and also a comforting experience for us as we were back in the ward where we lost our first born in Reuben but also we knew that Oliver was in the best hands. He started off on the Red section for the Thursday and Friday and by the Saturday he was in the Blue section and off the CPAP and breathing on his own. We have never been so happy to see him with no wires connected to him. We were happy to see the consultants that had worked previously with Reuben and that they knew our past history and remembered us which helped us a lot. The girls on the ward were amazing, they gave us time to have skin to skin, they taught us how to do his checks and they were always there to help at any time. The RVI were amazing, especially during COVID they allowed me to stay with April on the post-natal ward due to our past experiences and we couldn’t thank them enough. Oliver was discharged on the Monday after spending a night on the ward with us and he is now thriving at 14 weeks old”. 

Tiny Lives Support

“Tiny Lives supported us in so many ways, both on the Unit and after we came home. We received Miniboo comforters for both Reuben and Oliver, to which we still use one now. There was many refreshments and food on the ward to help us get through each day when needed. On both occasions we received a parent pack with little goodies including cups, toothpaste, toothbrush, mints and a book to read with both of our boys”.

“We are so grateful for having pictures of Reuben taken with us as we cherish them so much”.

“For Oliver we had breast milk stored on the unit which was readily available and warmed up as soon as we asked for it”.

Our support to Tiny Lives

Since Reubens passing

  • Two of our best friends have raised money by offering their wedding favours to Tiny Lives by personally giving Tiny Lives £150
  • Another of our best friends Jon has completed a charity 500mile walk in one month in Reubens name for Tiny Lives where he raised over £3000, during this challenge we walked from our family home in South Hetton, Durham to the RVI (approx 21miles) this is now going to be an annual event for us and our next walk will be Sunday Sept 26th 2021 and we have named ourselves “Reubens Walkers”.
  • I am also going to complete the Great North Run on 12th Sept 2021 for Tiny Lives where I have already raised over £1500 and sponsors are still coming in. 

Can you imagine doing the Coast 2 Coast- and then BACK AGAIN?

 

Well, that is exactly what this team of terrific fundraisers are doing. This bank holiday, Paul and his team are setting off on the final leg of their C2C2C. The mammoth challenge will see the team of cyclists ride from Whitehaven to Tynemouth and back.

So far they have incredibly raised over £3,000 in loving memory of Paul’s daughter Thea. Paul said “ We would love to raise as much money for tiny lives as possible in memory of our baby girl and we hope you will donate as much as you can spare.” Just follow the link here to show your support https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theasthousand

A HUGE thank you and good luck from team Tiny Lives. 

Mad Hatter Charity Ball

An amazing £25,000 raised! 

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How the weeks just fly by…this time last week we were ticking off our checklist in preparation for our Mad Hatter Charity Ball which took place on Saturday 20th October at the Hilton Hotel Newcastle/Gateshead.

Guests were welcomed into the drinks reception through a beautiful floral arch, where they had the honour of meeting our very own Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts on their thrones.

Our Mad Hatter guided guests through to the main room and once seated the very talented dancers from Tyne Theatre Stage School kicked off the evening with a wonderful performance from Wonderland the musical. Guests then took part in a quirky Eat Me/Drink Me ice breaker with the winner receiving a nice little Gin gift set.

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The night was expertly hosted by Pete Graves of Sky Sports who also took on the role of auctioneer. Our auction raised over £19k with guests getting competitive with bidding and extra auction prizes being donated on the evening – incredible!

Before the auction, guests watched a short film about a family who have been through the neonatal journey, giving guests a very small insight into how families lives are turned completely upside down when they have a baby on the Neonatal Unit, but also showing how much Tiny Lives support means to the families on the unit.

The centrepieces on the night were fantastic and were all individually hand-made with their very own Eat Me/Drink me little trinkets. The hats were later modelled by guests on the dance floor as they donated on the evening to purchase one or more hats.

It was a night to remember, with quirky touches including thrones, grass walk ways, casino tables, balloon bonanza and the one and only Funk Conspiracy who got guests up and dancing within seconds.

Thank you so much to everyone who made the night possible.

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Paige is always thinking of the next fundraiser…

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Mam Tracy holding Paige

Ten years ago, Paige was on the neonatal unit at the RVI after being born at 26 weeks weighing 2lb. Over the years Paige and her family have raised funds for Tiny Lives through various fundraising activities throughout the school holidays and in school by organising a sponsored walk.

On Friday Paige invited us along to Chickflicks Hair and Beauty in West Denton. Where she had 11 inches cut off her long locks which she is donating to The Little Princess Trust, but Paige didn’t stop there as she asked all her family and friends if they would sponsor her with all donations coming to Tiny Lives.

Ever since we met Paige she is always thinking how she can support Tiny Lives and other charities who help people.

Well Done Paige, you are a very brave girl with a big heart!!

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Blackhall Colliery Care Home Supports Tiny Lives

The caring people at Field View care home in Blackhall Colliery have been raising money to help support newborn babies and their families at Newcastle’s RVI hospital.

The home raised £100 for The Tiny Lives Trust, the charity which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at Newcastle’s RVI hospital, and donated gift bags for new parents on the ward containing baby care essentials such as nappies, wipes, dummies, and soft toys.

The team at Field View – a care home for the elderly and people living with dementia – decided to support the charity after the granddaughters of a long-serving Carer at the home were born prematurely and spent two weeks in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Identical twins Mia and Maddison Elliot were born at 33 weeks and weighed just three pounds each at the time of their birth on 10th May 2018.

Sharon Quinn, who has worked at Field View for five years and is the grandmother of Mia and Maddison, said; “We were so pleased when Janice, our Activities Coordinator, asked me if the home could raise money to support the Tiny Lives charity. Mia and Maddison and my daughter Kayleigh received exceptional care at the RVI. From the moment they knew the twins would be born prematurely they were so kind and reassuring to Kayleigh and had her visiting a consultant three times a week. We valued their support so much, so it was lovely to get the opportunity to give back and help other families going through similar circumstances.”

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser at The Tiny Lives Trust, visited the home to meet the team and collect their donations. She said: “It was lovely to be invited to Field View to personally say thank you to Janice, Sharon, Kayleigh and other members of the team for kindly supporting Tiny Lives in respect of Mia and Maddison spending time on the NICU. Because of the very kind donation, Tiny Lives can continue to support families and babies on the unit.”