Six-year-old’s walk in aid of Norwich neonatal unit

When she was born 15 weeks early, Hope Gowing weighed just 1lb 14oz and was in intensive care for 12 weeks.

But thanks to the care she received at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in those first few months, Hope is now a bubbly six-year-old who enjoys playing with her younger brother and sister.

When she heard about the hospital's Cots for Tots appeal and looked back at the photographs of herself in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Hope decided she wanted to help out.

With the help of her mum Elise, 30, and dad Paul, 46, she organised and took part in a 5k sponsored walk in North Yorkshire, where the family now lives after moving there through Paul's work with Aviva.

The Gowings are visiting family in Norfolk, including Elise's mother Yvonne Gordon, who lives in Hellesdon, and, as part of the visit, they have planned a trip to the N&N's NICU to hand over the money and show Hope where she spent the first few weeks of her life after she was born at just 25 weeks.

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Mrs Gowing, a former Hellesdon High School pupil, said: 'My mother-in-law read about the appeal in the paper and sent the stories up to us for Hope to read.

'We had a look and showed her her memory book with pictures of her in hospital and she wanted to help raise the money to get some new cots.

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'The unit was wonderful when we were there and all the staff were amazing.'

Hope, who has a brother Isaac, three, who was born prematurely at 35 weeks, and an 18-month-old sister, Taliah, said she was happy to have raised money for the appeal. She added: 'I had to do a sponsored walk, but I was running sometimes as well and we had a picnic.'

The hospital is appealing for the public's help to raise �500,000 for four new cots for the NICU. This money would pay for four more intensive care or high-dependency incubators and the associated building work and kitting-out needed.

To support the appeal, visit or send a cheque payable to the NNUH NHS Foundation Trust – with 'NICU Cot Expansion Fund F300' written on the back of the cheque – to Communications, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.

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