Grandmother donates £2k breast pump to baby unit

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A woman donated a £2,000 breast pump to a hospital which cared for her granddaughter when she was born seven weeks early.

Lynne Stalker, 50, of Hyndman Close, gave the pump to East Surrey Hospital’s neonatal unit on Wednesday (February 12). Her granddaughter, Laney, was in special care for five weeks.

The pump will help premature babies get breast-fed sooner in the baby unit.

Lynne said: “Laney would not be here if it wasn’t for the staff on the unit and we just wanted to say thank you.

“I felt I was giving something back to a unit that I know they need and they would use.

“It was quite emotional for me, it was the very place I sat and held Laney for the first time.”

She presented the pump with her partner Andy, 52, Laney, 2, and Laney’s mother, Michelle, 30.

Ingrid Marsden, lead nurse at the unit, was pleased to see the family again.

She said: “We encourage every mum to breast feed so having another pump for them to use is really lovely.”

Lynne said her daughter-in-law Michelle, of Bewbush, had to wait for a breast-pump for hours before she could feed Laney.

The unit only had three pumps.

Laney weighed only 2lb11oz when she as born by caesarian section on May 19, 2012.

She was treated in intensive care and the family was allowed to leave on June 18, 2012.

Lynne now visits Laney most days.

She said: “She’s absolutely adorable, funny and she knows what she wants.”

Lynne and Andy gathered £1,450 in £2 coins because of Laney’s birth weight.

Lynne said bank staff were happy to exchange the coins once they understood it was for a donation.

Medela sold her the £2,000 pump at a discount price.

By coincidence, Lynne’s mother, Marie, was being cared for at the same hospital when Laney was born.

Marie died on July 1 before she could see her great-granddaughter.

Lynne could not visit her ailing mother because of the risk of transmitting Marie’s illness to Laney.

Grandmother Lynne was also a premature baby when she was born.

She weighed 1lb3oz - a sixth of the average birth weight.

Her twin sister Philomenia died three days later.

Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust’s neonatal unit is situated at East Surrey Hospital. It admits around 465 babies every year. It is part of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Network.