Rockinghorse thank supporters for successful Christmas appeal

Local children’s charity Rockinghorse is thanking its supporters for donating towards their 2015 Christmas Appeal which raised over £4,000 for a specialist piece of medical equipment.

The charity launched the appeal last month in support of the maternity ward at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton, where they are supporting newborn babies, and has now raised enough funds to provide a specialist bilirubin machine for the ward to detect bilirubin levels in babies, which indicates jaundice.

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.”

Newborn baby Jenson receiving treatment for jaundice on a special BiliBed
Newborn baby Jenson receiving treatment for jaundice on a special BiliBed

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.

Over £4,000 was raised for Rockinghorse’s 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 the charity 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 on Sunday (10 January 2016).

To find out more about the charity and how they aim to make life better for sick children in Sussex, please visit their new website