Giraffe warmer saves lives

Teata Clarke with one of her twin daughters Paisley Dobbs, who spent four days in a giraffe warmer.

A giraffe warmer is a godsend for a Tauranga mother of premature twin girls.

Paisley and Octavia Dobbs were born at 32 weeks, and normally Paisley would have spent time in an incubator.

Teata Clarke says the giraffe warmer means she could touch and interact with her daughter while she was staying in it.

“A giraffe warmer makes our experience in hospital better because with the incubator you don’t have the full touch to their body and it’s just through windows,” says Teata.

This piece of hospital equipment helps provide a life-sustaining environment by directing heat to an infant.

Paisley has been in both Tauranga and Waikato hospital for 55 days and spent four of those days in a giraffe warmer.

Tauranga Hospital paediatric ward clinical nurse manager Lynnece Dowle-Back says the giraffe warmer saves lives.

“They are like a big incubator in a lot of ways. You have everything in there you need to keep the baby safe and warm.

“They are also what you call a resuscitaire – so if the baby gets into strife there is a resuscitator on it.”

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board is calling for support from the community to raise funds for an additional giraffe warmer.

They are also in need of a sleep system to prevent tightening of muscles in children with neurological conditions and tactile toys to improve gross motor skills.

The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal is working hard to raise funds for these items through hosting fundraising activities, selling raffle tickets in-store and accepting customer donations at checkouts.

Tauranga Hospital nurse leader Maurice Chamberlain says the money raised from Countdown goes directly to kids of the Bay.

“There is no interference or administration, it’s just brilliant – we always define it as the icing on the cake.”

Since the Appeal began in 2007, Countdown has donated $12.8 million for medical equipment and other initiatives in children’s hospitals and wards nationwide.

Lynnece says equipment purchased from previous donations has improved patients and their families experience in Tauranga hospital.

“It makes what can be a really scary time just that little bit better. It’s just about having the right resources to care for the family in the best way possible.

“We have the equipment, but this is the equipment that makes people’s lives just that little bit easier and comfortable,” says Maurice.

For more information about you can support the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, visit: