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A kind donation after a difficult birth

Like most expecting mums, Hayley Brien was nervous but excited about the arrival of her new baby.

But when she went into labour at 39 weeks, unforeseen complications saw her son Francesco Stewart quickly transferred from another hospital to Royal North Shore’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Two months later, all is well. 

Baby Frankie, swaddled and sucking a dummy, slept soundly as Hayley and dad Jon Stewart presented a generous “thank you” to NICU nurse manager Claire Blackburn: a new TV.

The pair decided to donate the TV as during Frankie’s two and a half weeks on the ward, they spotted it listed on a “wish list” pinned to a wall.

Hayley and Jon said they wanted to give a bit of joy back to the staff.  

“We were struck by the incredible dedication of the people that work here – it is considered a privilege to help the tiny and sick babies,” said Hayley. 

We knew a simple thank you would have been more than enough, but we just felt incredibly moved to provide something that would hopefully make a bit of a difference
Hayley, Frankie's mum

Frankie’s first few days in the NICU were intense as the couple waited to see how his birth trauma would manifest.

“We were constantly on tenterhooks,” said Hayley. 

“Frankie kept throwing curveballs. In the end, the staff got down to the nub of the issue. But it was a wild ride.”

Hayley says once they worked out the issue, his situation was quickly managed and his condition rapidly improved. He is now on the path to recovery.

Jon says they wanted to give something practical that would be used by the staff. 

“We were very grateful for the care they provided both to Frankie, but also to us,” he said. 

NICU nurse manager Claire said Frankie kept staff on their toes during his stay. 

“It is so humbling that at this time Frankie’s parents Hayley and Jon thought about how they could thank us,” she said. 

“Seeing babies leave the NICU well is the reason we all do this work.”

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