For Hugo’s funeral we asked for floral tributes from close family only, with donations to our chosen charities: First Touch and Ronald McDonald House Tooting, from everyone else.
Flowers are always beautiful, but of course they have a limited life. Donations of money, in contrast, have the potential to help many other families, just as we had been helped by these wonderful charities during Hugo’s life.
We were astounded by the generosity of our friends and family, raising £1000 which was split equally between the two causes.
Having the obsession common to many bereaved parents to make sure Hugo is never forgotten we ideally wanted the money donated to First Touch (the charity for the sick and premature babies at St George’s Hospital, where Hugo spent his life) to buy a piece of equipment, something tangible that we could say is Hugo’s.
At first, we thought the money wasn’t enough to buy a piece of equipment outright, so we were going to put the money towards the refurbishment of the quiet room; we had spent a lot of time in there during the worst times, and it is in dire need of a bit of TLC!
We then received the news that Hugo’s money could buy an oximeter outright. An oximeter is a non-invasive way of measuring oxygen levels in the blood – one of the many vital observations sick and premature babies regularly need to monitor their progress. If you have had a sick or premature baby in hospital, or been an inpatient in hospital yourself you will appreciate how many observations and interventions the patient has over the course of a day, so anything that makes the process easier is invaluable.
First Touch asked us what wording we would like on the plaque that was going to be placed on the oximeter. We asked that the nickname given to Hugo by his nurses – ‘The Boss’ – be added to reflect how much this tiny boy meant to everyone. ‘Bright in Mind and Spirit’ is what Hugo’s name means, and my feisty baby he really lived up to it, so that was added too.
The charity was kind enough to send some photos of the oximeter and plaque so I could share them with everyone so you know what your generous donations have bought, and how it is helping other babies like Hugo.
Hugo’s daddy and I are so proud that other babies are being helped in our little boy’s name.
It is also a way of showing how everyone’s support helps First Touch help sick and premature babies and their families. If you are looking for a good cause to support in 2015, please do consider First Touch. While the unit is based at St George’s Hospital, south London, they look after babies from all over the country like my Hugo, as well as little ones from the local area.