‘Babyroo’ honours baby Melisa

Posted 13 Jun 2024
Out of the incredible sadness of losing their daughter Melisa 37 years ago, Maria and Leong have created a generous legacy which will help sick and premature babies and their families for years to come.

Born prematurely, baby Melisa was cared for in the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit before she sadly passed away.

“I remember that she was intubated, and we weren’t able to touch her, we could only look through the glass,” Maria recalls.

“We only held her right at the end…they brought her to me and I was able to put her on my face and feel her warmth.

I remember that Flinders did everything for us and we’ve always been thankful.”

“We wanted to do something for the other parents and babies, and give something tangible so that we can always remember Melisa,” Leong adds.   

In her name, Maria and Leong generously donated funds to Flinders Foundation to purchase a ‘Babyroo’ – the first of its kind in South Australia and only the second in Australia.

This state-of-the art ‘open air’ neonatal intensive care cot keeps babies warm and comfortable while allowing specialist Neonatal Unit staff to easily access the baby for care and treatment, including emergency resuscitation.

Importantly, parents can also bond with their baby during a challenging time, with the cot’s open top allowing for precious contact and memorable first touches.

With an in-built ventilator, heating, display screens and weight scales, the cot has everything required to care for the unit’s tiniest and sickest babies, whilst also being light and compact allowing for easy transport.

Neonatal Unit Clinical Nurse Consultant Sara Jones said neonatal staff were excited to use this advanced technology to help some of the 1,300 babies cared for in the unit each year.

“This will help so many families for generations to come, and we will always remember Melisa because of the Babyroo,” Sara said.

Thank you Maria and Leong for your generous gift in memory of baby Melisa.

Get in touch to find out how you can fundraise, donate or take part in an event to support the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit.

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