The parents of a baby girl born on Christmas Day are urging people to support the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Send a Smile with Santa appeal.
Two years ago, Maria and Karl Brett received the best present of all with the arrival of Mollie Florence at 2.55am on Christmas morning.
However, their time in hospital was made all the more special as staff got into the Christmas spirit and delivered presents, kindly donated by members of the public, to every one of the 1,000-plus patients who spent the day in hospital.
Maria said: “We came into hospital around 9pm on Christmas Eve and met our amazing midwife Alex.
The next few hours went by in a blur, with Alex and Karl by my side, all of us singing Christmas songs, we wished each other Happy Christmas when the clock struck midnight.
“On arrival at the delivery suite, we were greeted by another wonderful midwife, dressed in a Christmas Star Wars t-shirt … then followed other midwives dressed in felt Christmas trees which was a fantastic touch, it really did bring the Christmas spirit alive.
“After Mollie was born, Alex brought us a wonderful gift bag with a knitted reindeer hat, some lovely Bayliss and Harding bath products and a little box of chocolates.
“What a wonderful thoughtful surprise to receive such lovely gifts on Christmas Day. Receiving these made me well up with emotion, not just because of what I had been through in the last 24 hours but because someone out there had spent the time to be kind enough to put together a wonderful present for us to receive on Christmas Day.
“We will never have a Christmas quite like it and I will always have in my thoughts those that are spending their Christmas at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, whether it be because they are bringing a new life into the world or are not well enough to be at home for the festive period.
“This is why, from now on I want to spread the joy and happiness of receiving a thoughtful gift on Christmas Day and support the Smile with Santa campaign.”
The NNUH aims to give every patient a present on Christmas Day in the appeal, supported by the EDP and Evening News.
If you are able to donate a present for a patient, please could you ensure that they remain unwrapped so that the hospital can tailor them to patients, as well as protecting against potential infection. In addition to gifts, the hospital would also welcome donations of gift bags.
The hospital cannot accept homemade gifts, electrical items, sharp objects or any used goods. Gifts can be dropped off at:
- Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich;
- West inpatient reception level one, NNUH;
- Costa Coffee, London Street, Norwich;
- Jet service station, Norwich Road, Halesworth;
- Norwich railway station customer service.