Family of premature baby joining Walk for Wards for 'amazing' neonatal unit

Family of premature baby joining Walk for Wards for 'amazing' neonatal unit

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 2:05pm 19th June 2020.

4 minute read

The popular Stars Appeal fundraiser for Salisbury District Hospital is a little different this year due to Covid-19.

Coronavirus restrictions mean Walk for Wards can't be held at its traditional local of Wilton House on the 5th of July instead supporters are being urged to walk 'wherever you are' on that day.

One Salisbury family will be doing just that to raise funds for hospital unit that saved their daughter.

Meghann Bowden's little girl Grace was born almost two months early on the 8th January weighing 1.4kg.

Meghann says the help and support her daughter and the whole family received was amazing:

"Before she was born the neonatal nurses were absolutely incredible. They sat with us and explained everything that was going to happen after delivery, they answered any questions we had honestly and so we could understand properly. After she was born she was taken straight to nicu where she had tubes, drips and wires everywhere. Seeing this for the first time on someone so tiny was absolutely terrifying but the nurses took the time to explain every tube and wire and made it a lot less scary."

"The most important thing that helped us get through her being in NICU was the Joan Stainer family unit which allowed me and my husband to stay overnight whenever we wanted. There was a place for our older children to play and have dinner in, with a kitchen and living area so they could spend time with us while we looked after Grace.

"This whole family unit is funded by donations to the Stars Appeal. For new mums and dads who have to go through the difficult time in NICU it make it a lot easier by not having to leave their new baby overnight and by having somewhere to be with their other children. "

Grace and her brothers
Grace with her brothers Casey-Joe and Cam.

After four weeks in hospital, little Grace was finally allowed home.

Mum Meghann says she will always be in debt to the staff on the neonatal unit.

"I will never have enough words to thank the nurses for the way they treated me and my family. They helped save and look after Grace as well as looking after us through tears and happy times too. Grace is now a happy, still tiny 5 month old and we still have contact with the nurses to send them photos of how she's doing. This is ours and Grace's way of trying to raise money to thank them for the amazing work they do - not just for the babies but their families too." 

Grace leaves hospital
Finally going home!

Meghann, her husband Ashton and Grace's big brothers, Casey-Joe and Cam, will be doing their stroll for Walk For Wards around Shearwater Lake near Warminster.

It's the last place they had a family walk before Grace was born.


Another popular team will also be putting their walking shoes on


Supporters are being asked to sign up to one of the distances 3k, 5k or 10k which you can do from home or wherever is suitable on the 5th of July.

The Stars Appeal team say although supporters can't be together at Wilton House the team spirit will be as strong as ever.

"Although we can’t all be together in person, everyone who Walks for Wards on Sunday 5th July will be part of a huge team effort, raising money to enable the Stars Appeal to fund projects helping both patients and staff at Salisbury Hospital. We hope you will join in."

Walk for Wards 2020 banner

If you are taking part then you'll need to stick to government guidelines which currently state you can spend time outdoors including exercise with up to six people, and you must keep 2 metres apart from those outside your household.

Those who complete the challenge will  get a certificate with a special reward for anyone raising over £100.

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