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Here’s a fact that will get you thinking: over 700 newborn babies are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Canberra Hospital each year.
While Canberra is lucky to have a state-of-the-art NICU filled with caring, supportive and highly-trained staff, that doesn’t mean our NICU doesn’t need some support every now and again.
Bake For Babies offers you the chance to do just that—support those who support Canberrans through some of their toughest moments.
An annual event that aims to raise funds for the NICU while having a bit of fun in the kitchen, Bake For Babies encourages Canberrans to bake up a storm, sell their baked goods and then donate the proceeds to the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation, who supports the NICU at Canberra Hospital. It’s that simple.
While COVID has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to in-person fundraising, Coordinator for Bake For Babies Tina Martinovic encourages Canberrans to sell their baked goods virtually by arranging contactless payment and pick up.
“The best thing is, calories don’t count when you know your support is going towards a good cause!” adds Tina.
This year, the campaign hopes to raise $110,000 to purchase two high-tech Giraffe care stations for the NICU.
These care stations not only minimises the need to move fragile, sick and premature newborn babies but also creates a controlled, protected micro-environment for peaceful fast healing, bringing babies one step closer to going home healthy.
“Despite facing challenging times, even if we can raise enough for one care station would be a dream come true, particularly for the babies, their families and caregivers during this incredibly heartbreaking and difficult time,” says Tina.
Tina knows these challenges first hand. Her son Kristijan was born three months early in 2016, weighing a tiny 1185g.
“At 27 weeks, without warning, I started bleeding,” remembers Tina. “We arrived at the hospital a little after midnight and by the morning, after several assessments, I was told my placenta had abrupted, which meant he was in distress as he was not receiving the required oxygen or nutrients and he would be born via emergency c-section.”
“Kristijan was born silent at 11.35 am, resuscitated and, when stable, whisked off to the NICU where he was immediately incubated. This was his home—our home—for the next 83 days. Five days after he was born, I was finally able to hold him. He was covered in wires and tubes as many of his organs were undeveloped, his skin was not fully developed and was translucent, his ears had yet to develop cartilages, his nipples were non-existent and many other ‘yet to be developed’ things.
“During his time in hospital, Kristijan was resuscitated several times, had multiple blood transfusions, was on and off intubation and CPAP, and had retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Today, Kristijan is a healthy and happy four-year-old boy who shows no signs that he was a ‘very premature baby’.”
This full and healthy life is Tina’s wish for all babies in the NICU—and Canberrans can help babies like Kristijan by getting their bake on during Bake For Babies, with 100% of all donations going towards the Giraffe care stations.
Bake for Babies runs until 30 September. For more information go to newborn.org.au/BakeforBabies