Family of brave baby raise cash for unit

A BABY girl who weighed less than a bag of sugar when she was born 13 weeks prematurely fought for her life while her ill mother came close to death.Rosie Patrick was born at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, weighing just 1lb 11oz and spent 107 days being monitored and treated by doctors at specialist units.

A BABY girl who weighed less than a bag of sugar when she was born 13 weeks prematurely fought for her life while her ill mother came close to death.

Rosie Patrick was born at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, weighing just 1lb 11oz and spent 107 days being monitored and treated by doctors at specialist units.

During those critical early days, her mother, Sarah Patrick, from Severn Road, Bury St Edmunds, was so ill she could not be moved from her bed at the hospital even though her tiny baby had been transferred to a specialist unit 30 miles away.

Sarah's ill health meant she was unable to be with her daughter as she struggled to survive during her first week of life. But after seven days the pair were reunited.


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Now another member of the family, Rosie's grandfather, David Ashman, has decided to make a special sacrifice to show how grateful the family is for the work of the Bury hospital.

Mr Ashman, of Johnson Road, Barrow, said in the three years since the youngster was born he and his family had tried to raise as much as possible for the Special Care Baby Unit where she was treated at the West Suffolk.

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"It was a stressful and traumatic time all round. They both almost died," he recalled.

The family have held a number of fundraising events to say thank you to staff sat the unit including an annual indoor carpet bowls competition in Barrow.

Her family say she is now a happy and healthy toddler with a real zest for life.

Mr Ashman, who has just celebrated his 60th birthday, threw a party for over 100 people to celebrate, and asked people to give donations instead of presents. He received £540, which was handed to staff at the baby unit last week.

He said: "It was my birthday and I don't need presents any more so I asked people to donate money instead. I have to say I wasn't expecting to raise that much. I was really impressed by what some people gave.

"We gave the money to the baby unit because it has recently been refurbished and we thought it could help with the costs."

Patricia Davis, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: "We are indebted to Mr Ashman for this kind donation. The money is very welcome, and we will use it for the care of babies on the Special Care Baby Unit.

"Our aim is to make the experience of having a baby on the unit as stress free as possible, and Mr Ashman's kindness will I am sure be much appreciated by many mums and dads in the future."

Rosie was allowed home after spells in various hospitals, including the West Suffolk, Ipswich Hospital, and the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge.

Her mother says it was only after she recovered from the birth that she began to realise the implications of Rosie's size.

"She was so small I could hold her in one hand. At first doctors thought she would end up with cerebral palsy and she had to undergo regular brain scans. It was touch and go for the first several weeks."

The family has raised money for the other hospitals where Rosie was cared for.

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