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[p]We have organised a Charity Race Night on the 20th October 2018 at the Loyola Ground (EN1 4NW), to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Evelina Children’s Hospital which is part of St Thomas’ Hospital and the Ronald Mc Donald House Charity as a way of saying thank you to all the amazing staff for the wonderful care and support we received earlier this year. We know that no amount of money or thanks will even come close to how incredibly grateful we are to both organisations for all that they have done for our family. [/p][p][br][/p][p]On 23rd January 2018 our beautiful daughter Marley was born after a very unexpected early delivery into the world. Immediately our lives changed forever, and the love we felt for her was unbeknown to us. She was transferred to the Neonatal Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital where our NICU journey began. There were so many moments of joy and happiness whilst on the unit, however with all the highs came the lows and so we began to ride the NICU wave, hoping and praying each day for the waters to remain calm. We spent our days by her side watching her little personality develop as she continued to fight hard to stay in this world. Throughout this time, we met the most dedicated and caring staff who were committed to improving the lives of all the tiny babies on the unit as well as their families. We were in complete awe at how dedicated they were to ensuring all these babies were given the best possible chance of surviving. Although this was not the journey into parenthood that we had envisaged, we wanted nothing more than for our little girl to grow stronger every day so that we could take her home and continue on her wonderful journey. [/p][p] [/p][p]Despite being such a strong and determined little lady, on the 8th February we knew that Marley’s lungs were just too sick and we had to make a difficult decision to turn off her ventilator. Before this, Marley spent her last day with us, out of her incubator surrounded by all her family having lots of cuddles and being read lots of stories. Our time with her was so special and throughout her NICU journey we were able to create so many special memories that we will cherish forever. We said goodbye later that night and although the pain and sadness of her death is unbearable at times, we are extremely grateful for the joy and happiness that she has brought into all of our lives. Marley’s life was short but she taught us so much about parenthood and the important things in life, and has filled our hearts with so much joy. We are so proud of our little girl and will ensure to keep her memory and fighting spirit alive in all that we do. [/p][p][br][/p][p]St Thomas’ is a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which provides 24-hour care for premature and sick babies who are born in the south east of England. It is a highly specialised unit with 16 intensive care cots, 8 high dependency care cots and 20 special care cots. We are hoping that any money raised will help further support staff and facilities on the unit so that they are able to carry on caring for babies like Marley and their families. The dedication and kindness of the staff, truly made our experience incredibly positive and for that reason we will always be grateful to them.[/p][p] [/p][p]This gratitude also extends to the Ronald Mc Donald House Charity at Evelina Children’s Hospital which is part of St Thomas Hospital. It is an independent charity which provides free [i]‘home away from home’[/i]accommodation for families near the hospital where their child is being treated so that families can be near their sick children. We were so blessed having somewhere so close to the unit where we could sleep and shower, as having to make that commute to and from home on a daily basis felt like we would have been traveling to the end of the world and back, and each moment away from the unit was a moment too long. Sue and the team at Evelina house made us feel very welcome and showed such empathy and warmth and we will never forget that. We hope that our fundraising will help in their mission to provide free accommodation at every specialist children’s hospital in the UK. [/p][p]Thank you for reading our story, we really hope that you will be able to make even a small donation so that we can support both amazing charities. [/p][p][br][/p][p]Love Paul & Angela Coyle (proud parents to Marley Idé Coyle 23-01-2018 – 08-02-2018)[/p]
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