Premature babies being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Bath’s Royal United Hospital are to benefit from a pioneering new piece of equipment thanks to fundraising by family and friends of a Westbury couple.

Tania, aged 40 and Andy Covington-Cross aged 42, sadly lost their daughter Mabel when she was born at just 22 weeks in December 2016.

Tania said: “Our precious daughter Mabel was perfect. The midwives, consultants and chaplaincy were amazing at what was the worst time of our lives, so my husband and I decided that we wanted to give something back to the RUH.

“We set up a Just Giving page to support the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal when I was in the RUH so we could raise funds in Mabel’s memory for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We’ve been amazed and moved by the generosity of our friends and family who have helped us raise over £10,000 which has helped fund the purchase of a video laryngoscope for the unit.”

Tania and Andy NICU equipment v2

Today, (Thursday 19 October) Tania and Andy were invited in by The Forever Friends Appeal to come to meet staff in NICU and see the piece of equipment that they generously funded. Dr Steve Jones, Consultant Neonatologist, at the RUH said:

“The video laryngoscope gives us better view via a projected image on a screen so that we can see a baby’s airway clearly when we need to put a breathing tube into their throat to help with their breathing.

“Having this equipment is a game changer for us and it has already been demonstrated to our neonatal colleagues in Trusts across the South West. We are extremely grateful to Tania, Andy and their family for funding this.”

Tania and her husband, who are expecting a baby this Christmas have now set up a Forever fund through The Forever Friends Appeal in memory of Mabel, to pay tribute and continue raising funds for the RUH. Tania said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who has donated. We are taking comfort that our darling daughter has been able to help others with her brief life, and that this equipment will also provide the additional support to the medical staff to enhance the great care and treatment they already give, thank you all so much.”

If anyone would like to make a donation to Tania and Andy, the link to their Just Giving page is here Alternatively, if you wish to donate in memory of your loved  please contact Jan Witt, In Memory & Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal on: 01225 825819 or email Jan.witt@nhs.net