On 17th April 2013, Poppy Laker arrived into the world and into the arms of the doctors and nurses at Bath’s Royal United Hospital’s Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU). After a difficult birth, where Poppy was starved of oxygen, she was transferred to Bristol St Michael’s NICU in a specialist ambulance and was only the second baby in the world to benefit from xenon gas treatment to minimise the risk of brain injury. The treatment proved to be remarkably successful and miracle baby Poppy is showing no signs of brain damage. On Friday 8th May Poppy’s family, including parents Steve and Kelly Laker, are organising the ‘Poppy Laker Charity Golf Day’ at Farrington Park to say thank you to the teams that looked after her in her first days. The day will be raising funds for the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) at the RUH, Cots for Tots in Bristol and SPARKS Children’s Medical Research Charity.
Here’s Poppy’s remarkable story:
“Poppy was born on 17th April 2013 into the arms of the doctors and nurses at RUH Bath’s Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU). After a difficult labour and birth Poppy was in a critical condition after being starved of oxygen she had a weak heartbeat and had stopped breathing. The team worked tirelessly where they successfully revived and stabilised her, enabling this fragile child to be transferred to Bristol St Michael’s NICU. This journey itself was ground breaking, as Poppy was only the second baby in the world to travel in the specialised ambulance.
During this surreal nightmare Poppy’s new parents, Steve and Kelly Laker from Paulton, were approached by the doctors and asked if they would consider allowing their poorly baby to take part in a trial treatment. With only a 30 minute timeframe to decide, time was crucial. This involved a specialised incubator, which cools the child’s body temperature whilst breathing Xenon gas. After agreeing to the medical help available. Poppy spent the next three days receiving this treatment which slows brain activity and reducing the potential of brain damage caused by oxygen starvation. During this time and ever since, Poppy has received world-class treatment from the teams at RUH and St. Michael’s. Her successful recovery has been nothing short of a miracle. If you meet the bright, chatty and outgoing toddler Poppy, you’d never know or believe the trauma she went through at birth.”
At the Royal United Hospital in Bath one in ten babies are born too early, too sick or too soon and therefore need additional care. The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) provides this type of care to around three hundred babies every year. These babies, who can fit in the palm of your hand or are too sick to survive on their own, like Poppy, need everything that modern technology can offer. This very Centre was 50% funded by The Forever Friends Appeal, the main charitable arm of the Hospital, from charitable support as part of the NICU ‘space to grow’ Campaign and provides these premature babies with the best possible start in life. Charitable donations continue provide state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic equipment that helps staff deliver the best possible care to these fragile young lives.
Steve and Kelly have been through any parent’s idea of hell and because of this have organised the ‘Poppy Laker Charity Golf Day’ to say thank you and raise funds that will help support all the team’s involved in Poppy’s recovery to help families of special care babies in the future. The Golf Day will take place on Friday 8th May at Farrington Park near Farrington Gurney and Paulton. There are a variety of fun ways you can get involved from entering a 4 ball team for £180, hole sponsorship as well as a raffle and silent auction in the day. To find out more please contact Steve or Kelly Laker at email@example.com or 01761 413834