A tribute fund that was set up in memory of baby Beau Roffey who passed away two days after being born with a problem with his bowel has raised over £17,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal, the charity for the Royal United Hospitals, Bath.
After Beau passed away in November 2020, Katharine and Paul Roffey of Frome, decided to set up a personal tribute fund through the charity to fundraise for a specialist piece of equipment for NICU at the hospital.
Katharine said: “During our time at RUH Bath, the team were so caring and loving, giving 100% attention to the babies in NICU and their families. We felt the need to honour his life by giving something back to help other babies and loved ones too.
“We found out that NICU needed a Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope, a specialist piece of equipment that is worn by an Ophthalmologist to perform the delicate procedure of eye screening on small babies to screen for a condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) which affects the blood vessels of the retina. The retina is a delicate tissue lining the back of the inside of the eye which detects light and allows us to see. After birth these blood vessels can sometimes start to grow abnormally and form scar tissue damaging the retina. Many extremely premature babies will develop some degree of ROP which usually resolves spontaneously, but a small number can develop severe disease. ROP is one of the few causes of childhood visual disability and is largely preventable and is dependent on screening”.
Almost one year on, various members of Affinity, the fitness training facility run by Katharine and Paul have taken part in a variety of events and challenges, including a 24-hour workout, a 50-mile cycle through Somerset and Wiltshire and 130 mile walk from Bradford on Avon to London in 52 hours.
Following these events, Katharine said: “Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, taken part or given their time and support! We are absolutely blown away by the amount of money that has been raised. It was incredible to know so many people were taking part in challenges in memory of Beau and to help save other babies lives is so special.”
Jan Witt, Legacy and Tribute Manager at The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We are extremely grateful to families like the Roffeys who wish to celebrate the lives of their loved ones by helping others through fundraising. Setting up a personal tribute fund really does help make a huge difference to the patients and their families who are cared for at the RUH.”