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Dr Vaughan Richardson - his job is a labour of love

In quarter of a century practising as a neonatal paediatrician, head of Wellington's neonatal intensive care unit Vaughan Richardson has looked after well over 25,000 babies and, despite their critical needs and at times dire condition, he still takes time to cherish every one of his tiny patients.

Neonatal units need to be expanded

Premature babies could be at more risk in the future if neonatal units are not expanded or new units built, an expert says.

Mother running to thank son's saviours (NZ Herald 9/1/13)

Aucklander Elaine Webb is running 720km in 51 days to raise money for The Neonatal Trust (Auckland).

'My baby won't eat' - Inara's story

If little Inara Herdman needs to eat, it’s not her mother she turns to – it’s a tube feeding machine she’s been hooked up to since the day she was born.

Deanna and Ben Sigmund

Deanna and Ben are strong supporters of The Neonatal Trust. However, they also understand that the support they received came from a range of organisations.

Samuel's story

My partner and I had just moved from Melbourne over to Wellington. A big step for us but one we were looking forward to. About a month after our arrival I found out I was pregnant with our first child. We were a little shocked but also excited, we knew it would be a challenge given we were in a new country away from all of our family and friends. Little did we know just how hard that challenge was going to be.

Harrison's story

Harrison was born at 9:01pm on 26 April by emergency caesarean at 41 weeks. He was struggling to breath and at one stage he had to be revived. After being transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Hutt Hospital a team from the Wellington Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) were called out to pick Harrison up by ambulance and take him to Wellington where he arrived at 1:30am.

Lucy's story

Lucy was an unexpected natural conception following prior infertility. After a trouble free pregnancy Lucy was born by caesarean section on her due date (a breech baby). At birth she was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 (or Edwards Syndrome)...

Emma's story

During what was an uneventful pregnancy I suddenly got very sick with severe PET (pre-eclampsia toxaemia) and developed HELLP syndrome, which in essence means I had high blood pressure, liver failure and my blood wasn’t clotting. As a result I was flown by Lifeflight Air Ambulance from my home in Nelson to Wellington. The following day Emma was delivered by emergency c-section due to my health rapidly deteriorating and both our lives hung in the balance. Emma was delivered 100 days before she was due weighing a pitiful 490 grams and her outlook was very poor indeed.

Charlotte's story

Charlotte was born at 23 weeks and 3 days and weighed 650 grams (a really good weight for her gestation). It had been a really normal pregnancy, but about two weeks before she was born I started to feel unwell. I had contracted an infection that no one had picked up, and eventually resulted in me going into premature labour. I was terrified when I arrived at Delivery Suite early that morning, my partner and I had no idea that a baby born that early could survive. The doctors weren’t able to stop my labour, but they were able to slow the labour long enough to receive steroids to help her lungs. Charlotte arrived in the world after 14 hours in Delivery Suite, wriggling, squirming and trying to breathe on her own.

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Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners