Christmas appeal success

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Thanks to your support, our 2015 Christmas appeal has become a reality and we’re pleased to announce that we’ve raised enough money to purchase a specialist bilirubin machine.

We launched our appeal in November to support newborn babies in the maternity ward at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton, where over 3,500 babies are born every year. The Drager transcutaneous bilirubin machine will detect bilirubin levels in babies, which indicates jaundice.

Jaundice is one of the main conditions to affect newborn babies, and if left untreated, can cause brain damage. Babies born at the RSCH are currently tested for jaundice via a blood sample. Whilst this method is accurate, it is also very invasive and uncomfortable for newborns who are subjected to a series of jabs, as bilirubin levels are measured over a period of time.

The non-invasive bilirubin machine will allow nursing staff to assess a baby as quickly as possible and provide instant results. Early diagnosis and treatment of the condition can make all the difference and if physiological jaundice is detected and requires medication, then phototherapy (a form of light therapy) can be administered on the ward using a special BiliBed (as seen in the picture of baby Jenson, above).

Over £4,000 was raised for our Christmas appeal which was boosted by a surprise donation from NFL football star Cassius Marsh, who donated over £1,500. The Seattle Seahawks player is a friend of long-term Rockinghorse supporter Martin Blencowe, who worked closely with us in 2014 to make Sabrina’s Wish a reality; providing brand new critical care ventilators for the High Dependency Unit at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

Speaking of his donation, NFL player Cassius Marsh, said: “Football has blessed me, I wanted to give back and if the Seattle Seahawks win the Superbowl I will double the donation for Rockinghorse.” The Seattle Seahawks will have their first play-off this Sunday (10 January 2016).

Louise Bartha, Individual Giving and Campaigns Manager at Rockinghorse, said: “Huge thanks to everyone who made a donation towards our 2015 Christmas appeal. We are overwhelmed by the generosity shown by our supporters who have enabled us to purchase the much-needed bilirubin machine.”

To find out more about some of the other projects we are fundraising for this year, please click here.

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