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Bikers Ride Out to the Neonatal Unit at University Hospital Galway

‘Bikers Ride Out for Prems’, a voluntary charity organisation that raises money to purchase medical equipment for neonatal units and hospitals for sick children recently donated €1000 worth of hotel vouchers to the Neonatal Unit (NICU) at University Hospital Galway.

The ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’ was set up by the Blue Daos Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Banner and to date have provided hospitals around the country with almost €600,000 worth of equipment.

Dr Johannes Letshwiti, Consultant Neonatologist at UHG said, “As a referral centre for the West of Ireland we care for very premature babies from a huge geographical area and unfortunately one of biggest barriers for families is the lack of accommodation on or near the neonatal unit. This can be a huge challenge resulting in potentially huge expenses for parents and breast feeding mothers.

“This generous donation of hotel vouchers will not only help parents financially but will give them the opportunity to spend more time with their baby and be there to support baby’s care through skin to skin and breastfeeding which has proven to improve the health of premature and sick babies.

Billy Maher from County Offaly was born at University Hospital Galway on 13 December 2011 at 24 weeks’ gestation weighing 1lb 12oz. His father John recalls, “It was a very worrying and anxious time for Suzanne and myself. When Billy was born we were told that his organs were under developed and that he probably wouldn’t survive.  He then developed septicaemia and meningitis and we really feared for the worst.  But miraculously he turned a corner and after four months in the neonatal unit Billy finally came home. Today we are blessed that we have a very happy and healthy 11 year old boy.

“During his time in the neonatal unit Billy received exceptional care from an incredible team of medical professionals.  I wanted to do something, give something back in appreciation. I got involved with the ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’ after I saw a poster about their charitable organisation and I knew instantly this was something I had to be a part of.  I joined the charity in 2012 and have been with them ever since.” 

Irene Glynn, Clinical Nurse Manager 2 at the Neonatal Unit said, “We are so grateful to the ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’ for this donation.  Each year we have around 400 admissions into the neonatal unit and over half of those admitted in the last few years were born premature and had to stay longer in the NICU.

“World Prematurity Day is held every year on the 17 November and it is an opportunity to celebrate babies who are born early and to highlight the challenges of being born premature. It is a huge opportunity for staff and families to reflect on the challenges associated with being born early but also to reflect on the fact that more still needs to be done with this global issue.”


Photo Caption
L:R - Mark O’Shaughnessy, ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’; Irene Glynn Clinical Nurse Manager 2, NICU; Maeve O Brien, Staff Nurse NICU; Debbie Mooney, Clinical Nurse Manager 1 NICU; Anne Marie Grealish, Assistant Director of Midwifery; Donough Donovan, Consultant Neonatologist; Rob Corcoran, ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’ and John Maher ‘Bikers Ride Out For Prems’ with his sons Billy and Oisín.

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
University Hospital Galway (UHG)