A local hairdresser who lost her premature baby daughter eight years ago has presented a cheque for £7,000 to the neo natal unit at the Maternity of the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Alison Harrison-Mitchell who owns Paul Shappiro hairdressers, in Lisburn, has been raising funds for the Perinatal Trust Fund for many years.
The £7,005 which she helped to raise will go towards providing a defibrillator and two phototherapy blankets for the unit which she presented to them recently.
Alison, now a mother of three young boys, has raised over £20,000 for the charity over the years, which helps to care for sick children.
Alison had a daughter Sienna, who was born 26 weeks premature on April 7, 2007.
Unfortunately, she lived for just two days and passed away on April 9. She weighed just 2lb 4oz.
“I love to do these things to keep Sienna’s memory and name alive,” said Alison who lives in Hillsborough.
“I also like to get recognition for the charity as well.”
Among some of the fund raising events that helped to raise the money included money raised from the members of the Dromore Spinning Class based at Dromore Community Centre, who were training for a maracycle and raised £1000.
Last Christmas, Alison also raised a further £1,000 by selling off reindeer food to local shops and businesses.
“When we are doing anything and I get an amount of money I contact the technician at the neo natal and ask them what they need,” she said.
“If they tell me what something costs then I know how much money to aim for.
“Every single penny we collect goes to the charity.”
She said that her family have been very supportive of her efforts, too.
“My family are all very good and never forget Sienna,” she said.
“When its birthdays or Christmases they will never forget Sienna’s name and they will put money into an envelope and hand it to me that also goes to the charity.”
In recent times she has helped to buy incubator, syringe driver and air bags.
“If I know how much is needed and we are slightly short of what we need then I will put the rest of the money to it myself,” she said.
“I feel honoured that I was given a few days with Sienna. I am thankful for that.
“If what I do helps just one other family, then it is worth it.
“When Sienna was born the staff were all so lovely, very attentive and caring.
“No matter what I asked them they helped me in whatever way they could and for that I am truly grateful. Nothing was ever too much for them.”