A SPECIAL premmie baby volunteer at Cairns Hospital has been rewarded for her hours of selfless devotion.
Betty Esmond’s role each week is to launder, sort and fold premature baby clothes at the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit, as well as the Emergency Department.
Ms Esmonde was named first runner up for the 2015 National Premmie Volunteer Hero Awards.
She received a $250 Accor Accommodation gift card, two movie tickets, a necklace donated by Sistaco, a commemorative medal and a framed certificate.
Ms Esmonde’s work at the Cairns hospital allows the nursing staff to continue offering excellent care to the tiny patients in their Special Care Unit.
Special Care Baby Unit Nurse Unit Manager Jonelle Mayers said Ms Esmonde was a wonderful and very special lady who comes every Tuesday and Friday to the Special Care Nursery.
“She washes and folds the baby clothes that are too small and if sent to the regular laundry would be lost. Betty has become a very important part of the Special Care Nursery team and without her we would not be able to dress the babies in the lovely clothes that assist in keeping them warm. The parents also get a lot of pleasure out of going to the warming cabinets and selecting clothes for their baby to wear after a bath. Betty adds that little special touch to our very special unit. In our eyes she is a true Premmie Hero Volunteer.”
Ms Esmonde said she gets so much more out of volunteering, than she feels that she gives.
“I’ve been doing this for about four-and-a-half years – I was walking past the Foundation office one day and thought I’d pop in and it went from there,” Ms Esmonde said.
“My youngest child was born disabled in Sydney so I know how important it is to have extra help in maternity. The babies and staff are all so amazing,” the 64-year-old said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said Ms Esmonde was a valued member of the volunteering team and it was rewarding to see her dedication recognised outside the organisation.
“We truly value every one of our volunteers who work so hard to make patients and staff lives easier,” Mr Franz said.
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