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Giraffe Incubator Helps Northland Babies Thrive

Giraffe Incubator Helps Northland Babies Thrive

The Northland Taniwha will take a breather from his active schedule on Thursday to chill out in a La-Z-Boy chair at Whangarei Hospital’s children’s ward.

He will be trying out one of five recliners purchased from funds raised by the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

Whangarei Hospital has received more than $282,864.00 for its maternal and children’s ward over the last five years thanks to the appeal. Other purchases have included apnoea monitors, humidifiers, breast pumps and a Giraffe Incubator - crucial in recently stabilising one of a set of premature twins.

The twin’s mother, Sheree Thompson, who was flown with her babies via rescue helicopter after an early delivery in Pouto, says her babies are now thriving.

“I was so rapt that this equipment was here to do the job,” says Sheree. “It’s really helped my boys – especially one in particular because he had low blood pressure and couldn’t digest food or hold his own temperature. But now he’s thriving. When I found out all the functions the incubator could do I was totally amazed.”

While incubators maintain a quiet, warm and safe environment for premature babies, the new Giraffe Incubator also doubles as a heat table so procedures such as blood tests and IV insertions can be carried out without moving the baby. X-rays can also be conducted through the removable lid.

“I would say to all the people in Northland who have the opportunity to donate to the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, definitely put all your spare change in,” says Sheree. “You might not think it does much but it means the world to people like me and to our babies for their survival.”

Now in its seventh year, the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal has raised more than $5.7 million nationwide through locally-led activities. Funds raised go towards much-needed hospital equipment for 10 children’s wards throughout New Zealand.

Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal chairperson Ruth Krippner says: “You don’t have to be a doctor to make a difference to the lives of children who are unwell – simply show your support through this year’s appeal which has lots of fun fundraising activities happening in your region and throughout the country.

“Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal is all about getting together as a community and doing what we can to support children who need us.”

The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal runs from August 5-October 27.

To donate, visit your local Countdown supermarket and donate at the till or visit to make a donation online or text KIDS* to 3066 to make a $3 donation. ‘*A $3 charge applies per text message. No additional charges apply’


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