A family returned to Wishaw General last week to hand over a bumper cheque to neonatal staff as a small thank you for the care they gave their daughter.

In March last year, Stevie McKenna and partner Debbie, from Motherwell, welcomed daughter Nova into the world at just 28 weeks weighing 2lb 9oz.

Having completed a 67 day in hospital, which included the start of the COVID pandemic, Nova was eventually allowed home.

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Stevie, 42,recently completed the 50km Run the Blades ultra marathon last month raising £1400 for the neonatal unit.

Handing over the cheque, he told us : “We received so much love and support from the wonderful doctors and nurses there.

“While we can never fully repay them for their care, we were delighted to be able to go into the unit and present a cheque for £1400 to the staff and let Nova meet some of the staff who cared for her.”

Stevie and Debbie, 31, went for a 28 week scan when it was discovered fluid from the womb had drained and their new baby would be arriving imminently.

Little Nova was born at just 28 weeks

A few days later, Nova was welcomed into the world and was immediately taken into the neonatal unit.

Three weeks into Nova’s recovery, the world was turned upside down when the pandemic full hit.

Stevie said: “For the first three weeks we were able to spend as much time as we could with Nova and speak to all the staff.

“Then COVID really took hold and we could only see her for an hour each day which was absolutely heart-breaking.

Nova spent 67 days in the neonatal unit

“The only saving grace was that the staff in the unit stepped up to comfort our tiny baby, when we couldn’t be there to keep her safe.

“We got to know all the staff and money couldn’t buy babysitters like that.

“Finally on May 8 we were able to take her home. It was slightly terrifying knowing she had been looked after so well and now it was in your hands.”

Stevie continues to be amazed by the level of care Nova received and is thankful such top class facilities exist just a couple of miles from his home.

“Living in Motherwell we just thought it was handy having the hospital just up the road from us,” said Stevie.

“It wasn’t until Nova was in there and we were speaking to other parents, before COVID restrictions, that we realised just how far other parents had travelled to get care.

“We spoke to parents who had come from the Borders and from Aberdeen so we were very fortunate.”

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