A TRUST which helps parents with extremely premature babies has been praised ahead of World Prematurity Day.

Two families whose babies were saved by the remarkable advances in medical care and who were supported by the Sick Children’s Trust have thanked all involved in making sure they can now watch their babies grow up.

The charity supports families in free home for home accommodation so they can stay close to the new arrivals while they receive hospital care.

Ashley Simons, from Basildon, was supported in Stevenson House following the premature birth of her twin girls, Isla and Esme.

Tragically Esme passed away just hours after birth, whilst Isla underwent months of lifesaving treatment in hospital.

Ashley said: “Hours after giving birth my husband, Mitchell, and I were planning a funeral for one baby as her twin fought for her life in hospital. That first week, The Sick Children’s Trust kept us beside Isla throughout the darkest days of our lives. I honestly could not have imagined leaving her in hospital every evening to travel home.

“The key to my recovery and grieving process was knowing I was never more than a few moments from my surviving baby.

“I remember the first night I stayed in Stevenson House I hardly slept. Knowing Isla was so close was comforting and I wanted to be with her all the time, but I also knew I needed to rest so I could be strong for my baby.”

Anita Hyam, from Southend, is a critical care nurse at Southend Hospital, and gave birth to son William at just 23 weeks. She said: “William’s life at the start was very rocky. At two weeks old William’s lungs were still severely underdeveloped. Fortunately, because of The Sick Children’s Trust we didn’t have to worry about where we were going to stay. There was also a breast pump available for me to use at Stevenson House, so even if I couldn’t hold William, I was able to give him my milk.”

For more information about The Sick Children's Trust, click here