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Skyla's come on in leaps and bounds (literally)!

Skyla's come on in leaps and bounds (literally)!

First Touch Garden

Sarah Collins of First Touch NNU in Tooting on graduate Skyla’s (and her parents) amazing story!

September is the month of starting or returning to school. We love seeing photos of our neonatal ‘graduates’ starting nursery, school, high school and university. We love a colourful uniform!

One of our graduates, Skyla Lapham, has auditioned for and been accepted into the London Junior Ballet Associate Programme. We couldn't be prouder of her! Skyla and her family have been massive supporters of First Touch since Skyla was born ten years ago. Mum Claire and dad Darryn have taken on sponsored runs for us, held coffee morning fundraisers and even asked for donations to our charity in lieu of wedding presents when they married. Claire is one of our Charity Ambassadors, and picked up the award to First Touch for 'outstanding service to health in Balham and Tooting' at the BATCA awards ceremony earlier in the year.

Skyla was born at just 28 weeks, so 3 months prematurely, and spent a long time with us at the neonatal unit at St George's Hospital. Skyla launched our beautiful garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2014, ably assisted by TV's Susanna Reid. The duo even made an appearance in Hello magazine that week. Her mum describes Skyla as 'small but mighty' and is clearly thrilled to see her ballet dancing superstar doing so well.

Baby Skyla
Baby Skyla

You can imagine how wonderful it is for nursing staff and doctors to see the progression of some of the tiny and vulnerable patients that they have cared for, often for many months. One of the ways that we facilitate this is by funding the annual Christmas Party for neonatal graduates, held at the hospital's main cafe in Lanesborough Wing on the second Sunday of December. This also reunites families of babies who have left the hospital to go home. Additionally we encourage families to share updates on the graduates - however old they are! - on our Facebook page, and by sending us stories for our soon to be relaunched website. Seeing the stories of the babies who have grown older and stronger is also a huge source of encouragement to families with babies at St George's right now.

We look forward to seeing Skyla gracing the stage in Covent Garden in a few years!

To find out more, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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