17 years ago, mum-to-be Natalie Perez, was taken completely by surprise when at just 26 weeks pregnant she went into labour and gave birth to daughter Genny, who weighed a mere 990grams – less than a bag of sugar.
Last week Genny, and mum Natalie, along with other members of the family, paid a very special visit to Buscot ward, the Special Care Baby Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to donate £1000 to the Babies in Buscot (BIBS) charity.
Matron, Gina Outram welcomed the family and took Genny and Natalie on a tour of the unit where Genny had been cared for, before being allowed home to join her family.
She said: “This is the first time we’ve been back to the unit since I was born. It was incredible to see the tiny babies, and very poignant for my mum, who spent the first three months of my life here with me. The doctors and nurses do a fantastic job and it is great to be able to give a little something back.
“I decided to do a skydive to raise money as it’s something I wanted to do and BIBS is something close to my family and such a good cause to support. I was really looking forward to getting up in the air, but when I sat on the edge of the plane waiting to jump the nerves hit. It looked such a long way down!
“The experience was amazing and I’m delighted that it gave me the opportunity to raise money for BIBS.”
The family also met BIBS Chief Executive, Sarah Critchley, who said: “BIBS is funded almost entirely by the generosity of families who have benefitted from the life-saving and life-changing care delivered on Buscot ward. People just like Genny - but not everyone is crazy enough to jump out of an aeroplane for us! That really is going the extra mile and proves how there are no limits to what even the earliest of premature babies can achieve.
“It never fails to touch me how families continue to be so thankful for the care on Buscot for an entire lifetime. Without such loyal supporters, BIBS would not be able to fund the support services, medical equipment and family friendly facilities on the ward which ensures we continue to make a real difference when families need us most.”