Pictured: first time dad Lee Holmes holding his 6 week old twin girls – for the first time both together – on Father’s Day
Airedale hospital’s neonatal unit celebrated Father’s day by giving cards and chocolates to new dads.
The neonatal unit looks after babies who are born premature or sick, and babies sometimes stay on the unit for weeks at a time after being born.
Sarah Szpara, senior sister on the neonatal unit, said “When you’re having a baby you expect to be able to take them home straight away and start your new life together, but if the baby is born early or unwell and have to stay in hospital, it makes things a lot more difficult. For a lot of parents, it’s the most challenging time of their life if their baby has to be looked after on the neonatal unit.
“Everything we do is centred around the families we look after, and we try and make their time here as easy and comfortable as possible. As it was Father’s Day we wanted to make the dads feel special and appreciated – it was wonderful to be able to do something as simple as giving a box of chocolates and card and seeing the difference it made to them.”
The chocolates were donated by Bliss, a charity who help premature or sick babies to receive the best care possible.
Alex Wright, Airedale’s Bliss volunteer, said, “When you’re in neonatal care you just desperately hope that the special moments will be more frequent than the scary ones. That’s why we think it’s important to celebrate things like Father’s Day to draw out the positives at a difficult time.”