A grateful South Cumbria family has made a donation to Furness General Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit in memory of a mum and nana.  

The Atkinson family, from Ravenstown, near Flookburgh, raised more than £1,000 in memory of Janet Louise Atkinson, who passed away suddenly in April, aged 55.  

The family has a long history of being looked after by specialist maternity services. Janet’s daughter Natasha was cared for at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester after being born prematurely (at 28 weeks), and then Natasha’s daughter Myla Isobel spent a month in the Special Care Baby Unit after her premature birth (at 32 weeks) in July last year.  

Janet’s husband Myles said: “When Myla was born it was a difficult time and it brought it back to Janet what she had gone through with Natasha.  

“Those nurses in the SCBU work their socks off, and we wanted to make this donation because it’s what Janet would have wanted, without a doubt. It’s close to all of our hearts.”  

Money for the donation was raised via a collection at Janet’s funeral along with fundraising activity in her honour at Ravenstown Social Club.  

Bay Hospitals Charity, which supports patients and staff at hospitals operated by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, accepted the donation on behalf of the SCBU.     

Bay Hospitals Charity Head of Charities and Fundraising Suzanne Lofthouse said: “It was wonderful to welcome the Atkinson family back to the SCBU to accept this donation in memory of Janet.  

“Stories like theirs really bring home the reality of how our amazing staff care for generations of families and the positive impact they make in our communities.  

“This donation forms such a moving tribute to Janet, and we are very grateful to everyone who supported and donated.”   

The family, including Myles, Natasha, Myla and Natasha’s partner Connor Robinson, visited the unit to make the presentation. Janet’s son Luke was unable to attend due to work commitments. 

Natasha said: “Until you’ve had a baby that’s had to spend time in Special Care Baby Unit you can’t imagine what it’s like and you realise how important the NHS is. 

“Sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever be able to bring your baby home. It was daunting at first, stepping through those doors. The nurses who cared for Myla in the Special Care Baby Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Preston also gave me and Connor amazing support.  

“They felt like family by the time we left and took Myla home. Myla’s at the age of one now and she’s thriving and doing incredibly. We’ll forever be grateful to the nurses that cared for Myla. A thank you will never ever be enough. They are real life angels, they saved us both.” 

To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or email [email protected]  

Donations can also be made at bayhospitalscharity.org