Saffron Walden family continue their support for Bliss

A SAFFRON Walden family have pledged their continuing support to a premature baby charity after attending its annual report launch.

Bliss provides vital support and care to premature and sick babies and is close to the hearts of Saffron Walden’s Nigel and Eleanor Bailey after the support they received when their son Eoin was born at just 26 weeks.

And the couple, who have two other children, Ciara, eight, and five-year-old Connor, were invited to the House of Lords for the Bliss event before Christmas.

“The report is published about the state of care for premature babies in the UK and covers things like funding, the amount of nurses and transfers from different hospitals,” said Mr Bailey.

“Three years ago we were asked to give a speech and each year since then we have been invited back. This year we went with Sir Alan Haselhurst and I met the previous health minister.

“Sir Alan has been a huge support for us. We first got in contact with him when Eoin was in hospital and he has written letters and tried to come along to as many events as he can.”

One of the issues currently being tackled in the report is the level of care that premature babies receive.

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On an intensive care unit adults and children are given one-to-one care but premature babies are not.

Bliss is training nurses to give the care needed and then trying to keep them from being transferred away from the premature babies.

Despite some harrowing case studies, Mr Bailey said the report has given a lot of reasons to be positive.

In their personal circumstance things are also looking up. Eoin, now three-and-a-half years old, is “slowly getting there” after being discharged by one of his doctors, while the family’s support of the charity is ongoing.

In June Mr Bailey took on a 400-mile cycle from Cambridge to Paris and raised over �2500 for the charity. The couple will continue their support in 2011 and beyond as both have ideas of how to drum up funds.

“Its Eleanor’s turn this year – she is running the marathon,” said Mr Bailey.

“Next year I plan to cycle from London to John O’Groats.”