A SOLIHULL couple has raised £8,575 for the hospital where their 10-week-old son was treated before he died.
Jemma and Simon Phelps were left heartbroken and devastated when Joshua passed away last March.
In his honour, they have raised funds for vital equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
Inspired by the fight baby Joshua had shown and keen to have something positive to come out of such a terrible experience, the pair signed up to complete the Warwickshire Sprint Triathlon in Stratford.
Jemma said: “Joshua was a real fighter, so raising money by completing a triathlon seemed like a challenge he’d be proud of his mummy and daddy completing.
“Once we’d committed ourselves and entered, the training actually helped provide Simon and I with a focus for the difficult months after he died – nature’s therapy of exercise, fresh air and sun on our backs helped give us time to start to heal and also lots of reflective time together to remember and talk about our little soldier.”
The duo had already signed up to complete the triathlon but after speaking with one of the nurses who looked after Joshua they decided to raise funds for Libby Mae’s Little Angels, which supports the NICU, while taking on the challenge.
Armed with pictures of Joshua taped to their bikes and a team of supporters cheering them on, the couple crossed the finishing line with tears in their eyes and celebratory high-fives to celebrate their pride in ‘Team Phelps’.
After the race the couple sat down with Charlotte and Rich Sharratt, founders of Libby Mae’s Little Angels, and they decided to put their funds towards an Infant View Larygoscope which helps neonatal staff safely introduce breathing apparatus to tiny babies (intubate).
The duo said: “As with many babies in the neonatal ward, Joshua’s journey had ups and downs.
“On several occasions when he wasn’t doing so well, he would require breathing support and therefore the staff would have to intubate him; a worrying and stressful time for us as mum and dad, and a distressing process for Joshua.
“We know Joshua would have benefited from this equipment and take some comfort from the the fact that other babies will benefit.”
Dr Matt Nash from Birmingham Womens Hospital said: “The video-laryngoscope is an essential piece of kit that will improve the care and safety of our babies.
“It will help with teaching junior medical staff not only on our unit, but across the West Midlands, how to intubate safely and effectively by allowing fine adjustment of techniques using the video screen.
“With increasing evidence supporting the new method of administering medicine into the lungs of premature babies, this equipment will support the safe administration of this without the standard method of using a large and invasive endotracheal tube.
“Occasionally we encounter babies who have airway abnormalities. The video laryngoscope allows clearer views that are easier to obtain compared to standard “direct-view” laryngoscopes.
“This equipment will help in these tricky airway situations, and it also allows more doctors to be involved and assist, and the procedure can be recorded for future learning.
“I am very excited to have this equipment, and it will positively impact patient care and potential save lives.”