Businessman Iain Martin has two key reasons to help Sheffield Hospitals Charity - twins Leila and Harry.
They were born prematurely at the Jessop Wing, and he was so overwhelmed by the care they received that he is raising funds for the charity through his companies.
Martin said Jessop staff helped him and his wife, Gemma, through a very stressful time. “I can’t thank them enough and it’s about time people realised how good the NHS is in critical, life threatening situations.”
His companies, Regatta Workwear and BH Industrial, provide the charity, which works with five Sheffield hospitals, with free clothing, banners for events and other items to help it in its fundraising drives.
The twins were born last November after Gemma, 34, was admitted to the Jessop during the 35th week of pregnancy for a Caesarean section because one of the babies was not developing as quickly as the other.
Leila was 3.7lb and Harry was 3.3lb. “My life changed forever in a blink of an eye,” said Iain, 32 this week. “I fell in love the very second I laid my eyes upon their tiny faces. They were both so tiny and looked so vulnerable and precious that my heart sank when I was told they need incubators and body contact was to be limited.
“I held them dressed in scrubs for their protection I was the proudest father, I could not smile any wider. Both were healthy but needed intervention to make sure they could develop as much as they could before we could take them home.”
Staff showed how to use nasogastric feeding tubes for Harry and Leila. “Believe me when I say this it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life so far. The medical staff’s handling of this training was first class and I will forever be grateful for their support and patience.”
After three weeks in the transitional care unit, the twins could go home to Oughtibridge.
Iain added: “Having twins is much harder than having one child. It’s not just doubling the work, its increasing it by a factor of ten and when you have twins who are premature the stresses and not knowing are increased by a factor of 1,000. The Jessop staff walked us through everything to make sure there were limits to these stressful periods.”
Iain is a partner in the companies, based at Parkgate, Rotherham, which offer a voucher code at online shops to donate 10p from every £1 spent. The promo code for donations is SHCT1. See www.regattaworkwear.com and www.bh-i.com.