WIGAN Infirmary’s neonatal unit is a special place where little ones open their eyes for the first time and are met with tears of joy from their loving families.
For some though, the journey into the world is far from smooth.
Emma McMullen is one mother who knows that too well, as all three of her daughters were born prematurely.
TJ, 10, was born after just 35 weeks, while Gracie, seven, and two-year-old Heidi-Kate both came a month early.
And now Emma wants to say thank you for the care she and the trio of youngsters received at the hospital, by holding a fund-raising event.
The tribulations surrounding the births and subsequent care remain vivid in Emma’s mind. She said: “The first time was a scary experience. We had got to the baby ward, I was given an epidural and then I don’t remember much other than doctors crowding around me. When TJ was born she was rushed to the special care unit.
“She was there for 24 hours and it was horrible. I couldn’t hold my baby which was the thing all mums just want to do.
“With Gracie, I knew she was coming early so I was prepared for her going into special care. But still there was that separation which was hard. You are always just thinking ‘what else is going to go wrong?’
“With my youngest, I was quite poorly. She came back to the ward and it was in the evening that she went to special care.”
On all three occasions though, there were medical staff attending to her and baby’s needs and reassuring the new mum.
“They were amazing,” added the Leigh mum. “The effort they go to is incredible and they make everything OK.
“One of the nurses even came to see me after I had left with Heidi because she suffered with really bad nappy rash and brought around some special cream. The job they do is wonderful and is just not recognised enough.”
In gratitude for that care, Emma has organised a night of soul music to be held at the 180 club on Railway Road, Leigh, on Saturday, September 5.
Proceeds will go to the Three Wishes charity which provides special equipment for the unit at Wigan Infirmary.
The Soul Temptations will be performing with a pasty and sandwich supper on offer too. A raffle will also be held with special prizes on offer.
“It will be a great night,” said Emma. “Hopefully we can get a lot of people down.”
For tickets, which cost £7, contact Emma on firstname.lastname@example.org,