As an expectant parent, all you want is the very best for your new baby. But sadly, not all pregnancies go to plan.
On average, 5,600 babies are born at Sunshine Hospital each year. Some of these babies will be born too sick or too soon and will need the support of specialised care.
With the recent opening of the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's, Melbourne's west will have its own Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
It will be the only unit in Melbourne's west that offers the highest level of care to critically ill and premature babies born as early as 28 weeks.
The State Government's generosity has made the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's possible and will fund the wide range of important equipment within the NICU and SCN.
Your support will mean we can purchase additional special equipment and add extra enhancements to further develop our capacity to care for very sick and premature newborns.
At 28 weeks Kate's waters broke, and with the risk of her baby being born premature and requiring specialist neonatal care, she was immediately transferred to a major hospital on the other side of the city.
Being so far from home only added to the stress that Kate and her family were experiencing.
"It was scary and unsettling to have the choice to give birth to Kobi at Sunshine Hospital taken away from us. I know first-hand what it's like to have to travel beyond the city everyday to see your child. I don't want another parent to have to do that. Having a NICU at Sunshine will be a godsend."
Your support of the Western Health NICU Appeal will provide the best possible care for our tiniest patients - and their families.
Your donation will help fund additional special equipment including baby warming kits to help regulate a baby's body temperature outside the incubator, and portable phototherapy units known as 'biliblankets' (used to treat jaundice), as well as special enhancements including the furnishing of private accommodation rooms in the Special Care Nursery for families of newborns from further away.
It's these special enhancements that can make a real difference to families who are experiencing what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging times of their lives.