Parents of premature Whitby baby start fundraiser for hospital unit which cared for their son

The parents of a Whitby baby born extremely prematurely weighing just 15oz have started a fundraiser for the James Cook Hospital Neonatal Unit.

By Corinne Macdonald
Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:18 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:28 am

Nephie Geoffrey Mirakel Hogarth was born on September 28 2019 to parents Natasha and Geoff, at just 26 weeks of Natasha's pregnancy after her waters had broken at 19 weeks.

He became the smallest baby boy to survive birth at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, but sadly died on January 17 2020.

His brave parents are now fundraising for the unit to thank them for the care they and their son received.

Due to having little amniotic fluid for the weeks prior to his birth, Nephie was born with severely underdeveloped lung and spent the first few weeks of his life on a ventilator.

He then gained weight, his feeds increased, he moved from intensive care room 1 to 2, then tried his first bottle and was eventually put in an open cot.

Nephie was going from strength to strength and a transfer to Scarborough Hospital was discussed.

He managed to fight off colds, which delayed his transfer, but on December 28 he was once again placed on life support suffering with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

RSV is a very common virus causing a cough and cold in most people, but it can be life threatening to premature babies.

After several meeting with hospital staff, Geoff and Natasha spent their final time with their son.

They are now raising money to donate to the James Cook Neonatal Unit via a Go Fund Me page. Geoff said in the appeal: "The team and unit hold a special place in our hearts after caring for our extremely premature son.

"The Neonatal Unit at James Cook are amazing and we would like to raise money for their unit to help other premature and sick babies.

"Many people have followed our journey with Nephie so we ask if you can spare anything to help us give back to the incredible unit who gave us four precious months with our Nephie Mirakel.

"Nephie passed away at 5lb 15oz, 5lb more than we ever expected."

A special ceremony to honour Nephie's life is to be held on February 5.

Geoff and Natasha will be holding a private church service before gathering at the Metropole Ball Room in Whitby at around 4pm, to which the community is invited to attend.

Catering vans to purchase food from and a drinks bar will be available and 100 blue biodegradable balloons will be released.

The couple would like to invite anyone who has followed Nephie's journey on social media to be part of the event.