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The Neonatal Trust

Charity Overview

The Neonatal Trust (New Zealand) was established in late 2009 and supports the parents of some of the country’s smallest and sickest babies. A steady increase in the number of premature or sick newborn babies in New Zealand was the catalyst for establishing this national charity. The Neonatal Trust supports the families of premature and sick babies as they make their journey through neonatal intensive care, the transition home and onwards. Wherever possible, the charity provide assistance by arranging personal support.

Whilst hospitals medically care for these vulnerable new-borns, the Neonatal Trust exists to provide a nationwide framework for regional neonatal pastoral care for their families. To date, regional Trusts have been established in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago; with an additional 14 provincial Neonatal Parent Support Groups currently underway.

Project Summary

Every year approximately 10% of all babies are born premature in New Zealand. That’s one premature baby born every 90 minutes.  There are also many full-term babies whose condition or illness requires admission to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after they are born.  In all, over 5,000 babies have a difficult start to life in New Zealand each year. The Neonatal Trust works to reduce the stress of, and provide support to, families going through a neonatal journey. This is usually an unexpected event for which parents will be unprepared and many are ill-equipped to deal with the situation. ICAP funding primarily supports parents of neo-natal babies who need emotional, practical or financial help while their new-born child is in a Neo Care Unit.

We are delighted that, with the support from ICAP, we can play a part in supporting the enhanced care provided in the NICU. Having an environment where the very best care for our most fragile babies is both delivered and developed is amazing.
Neil O’Styke, Executive Director, The Neonatal Trust

The Neonatal Trust were one of the charities selected to benefit from funds raised at ICAP Charity Day New Zealand 2014. The donation was put toward equipment to support the care of neonatal babies. The bulk of these funds went to purchasing a ‘Bioamplifier’, which is a specialised piece of equipment that is used for both monitoring and data capture. This is being used on babies born at the extreme ends of prematurity where close monitoring is critically important. Furthermore, the outputs of this specialist equipment will assist several neonatal studies aimed at enhancing the care and monitoring of neonatal babies. This includes a new study that will look at different ways of measuring blood pressure and brain oxygen levels in premature babies in their first few days to enable medical professionals to develop new strategies aimed at improving the babies’ brain development.

To the team at ICAP, we can't say thanks enough. You truly are Neonatal Heroes! Your efforts truly have helped to make a difficult start to life that little bit easier. It’s great to see the effort the ICAP team put in while they go about the serious business of fundraising on Charity Day.
Neil O’Styke, Executive Director of The Neonatal Trust

Richard Petersen, Managing Director, ICAP Wellington visited the NICU when the Bioamplifier was used for the first time.  The Bioamplifier was monitoring and recording data from Braxton Gradwell on the day Richard visited the Wellington NICU. Braxton, pictured above, was born on 23 December 2014 at only 24 weeks gestation (16 weeks early) weighing just 732 grams.

To learn more about the research of Dr Max Berry, please click here.