Little William Applin sits on a specialist intensive care bed bought in memory of his mum, who died from swine flu nearly two years ago.
Sarah Applin, who was 32, and from Thurston was pregnant with William, her third child, when she died in January 2011.
She was treated in what was West Suffolk Hospital’s only specialist intensive care bed – a bed for people with severe respiratory illness which rolls the patient to stop fluid build up in their lungs and increase their survival chances.
Now thanks to a £20,000 fund in Sarah’s memory and clever negotiation, the hospital in Bury St Edmunds now has another two of these beds, which usually cost £25,000 each.
William, Sarah’s husband Richard sister Grace and parents Barry and Jane Waterman were at the hospital for the unveiling of the beds earlier today (3).
Barry, said: “It is still painful but out of such sorrow it’s good something positive has happened.”
He is landlord of The White Horse at Beyton and said he would continue an annual music day in July in memory of his daughter.
Dr Jon Cardy, clinical director for A&E and intensive care consultant, paid tribute to the family’s ‘bravery in such tragic circumstances’.
“In 20 years at the sharp end in medicine, I don’t think I have seen the ICU as deeply effected. This really brought together the whole team,” he said.
“I have rarely seen a family hold together and with such bravery in such tragic circumstances.
“We have never had as close a relationship with a family of one of our patients as we have had with the family of Sarah Applin and clearly good things have come out of this.”
One of the new beds which includes a plaque in Sarah’s memory was already in use earlier today.
Paul Oats, service manager for critical care at the hospital said the roll effect of the beds could greatly increase a patient’s chances of survival.