An entrepreneurial mum is supporting a drive to help poorly newborns following her own son’s traumatic birth.
Kelly Carter’s pledge of donating £5 from every transaction of £100 or more at her Little Angels Prams shop, in Radford, Nottingham, could potentially raise £17,500 for Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Big Appeal.
The appeal, which has already enhanced on-site facilities and accommodation for families needing to be near their children at the city’s hospitals, is also fundraising for specialist paediatric imaging equipment, including a state-of-the-art intraoperative MRI scanner and child-friendly iMRI suite to help in surgery for youngsters with brain tumours.
Kelly has made the cause the business’ charity of the year and her support comes after she endured a traumatic labour with her youngest son, Owen, who turns six on February 8.
Owen spent his first nine days in intensive care at Mansfield’s Kings Mill Hospital following complications.
Kelly went into labour two days overdue but, at hospital, the baby’s heartbeat kept dropping.
She was monitored and doctors and midwives tried to use forceps to deliver the baby.
This didn’t work and suction cups were used and they managed to get the baby’s head out.
But then Kelly’s husband Terry, 41, was asked to press the emergency button as Owen’s shoulder became dislodged under Kelly’s pelvic bone and his heart rate dipped further.
He was starved of oxygen for a few minutes and more doctors had to intervene.
Eventually, Owen was delivered, weighing 7lbs 11oz, but he wasn’t breathing for over a minute.
Kelly said: “I thought I had a stillborn. I remember lying there just thinking ‘oh my god, I’ve lost my son’.”
Medics managed to resuscitate the baby but he began having seizures and he was rushed to the neonatal unit.
Kelly, who opened her shop in Prospect Street in November and also has a Little Angels shop in Ilkeston’s Bath Street, said: “I couldn’t hold him until he was better. He was in there for nine days having lots of tests.
“I was left on a ward with other women who had had their babies and I was sat in a room without my son. It was devastating.”
But after a couple of days, Owen was moved to a lower level of intensive care, and Kelly was able to hold her son. As soon as she began to breastfeed him, he thrived.
After a year of monitoring, Owen was a healthy baby and has been left with no lasting effects.
“He is absolutely fine,” said Kelly, who lives in Ilkeston and is also mum to nine-year-old Connor.
“We call him ‘The Destroyer’ as he is into everything.”
Describing why she chose to support The Big Appeal, she said: “We are in the baby industry and it’s only fitting that support this kind of charity.
“There are a lot of women who come in and buy a pushchair and it’s lovely but there is also the dark side where we do have to give refunds to people who have lost babies.
“It’s only fitting that we support this type of people in their hour of need.
“The care we had at Kings Mill was amazing and one day I would like to help that hospital too.”
Kelly’s shop sells on average 10 items worth over £100 a day, and potentially could raise £350 a week for the appeal, or £17,500 across the year.
Marianne Burchell, corporate fundraising manager at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnered with Little Angel’s Prams. Their £5 donation for every £100+ transaction is an effective way to support Nottingham Children’s Hospital and our new Baby MRI Appeal.
“The money raised by Little Angel’s Prams will help doctors and nurses achieve the best possible outcomes for the babies, children and young people being treated in our local children’s hospital.”
For more information, visit www.littleangelsprams.co.uk