A CHESHIRE fitness trainer and mum has launched a fundraising appeal to help families say goodbye to their terminally ill babies, following her own personal tragedy.

Last November Hayley Ryder, from Helsby, tragically lost her daughter, Neveah Arlea Sanders.

Neveah was born 15 weeks premature, weighing just 1lb 15oz.

Baby Nevaeh.

Baby Nevaeh.

After spending four weeks in Arrowe Park hospital, where Hayley's daughter was doing well and making promising progress, on November 4 Neveah’s condition suddenly worsened.

Her stomach became swollen, and her numbers were dropping. After an X-ray and tests, it became clear that Nevaeh had developed a life-threatening condition called NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis). The condition causes intestinal tissues to die and must be operated on to remove the dead tissue.

A rare photo Hayley has of her son and daughter together.

A rare photo Hayley has of her son and daughter together.

At Alder Hey Hospital, surgeons prepared Neveah’s parents for the worst, telling them that there was a 10 per cent chance survival from the operation.

Yet, against the odds, the tiny 2lb baby fought through two operations. Surgeons were delighted with the success and her medication was slowly being reduced.

Sadly, two days after the second operation Neveah went into cardiac arrest. Hayley and her husband rushed to the hospital, which, thanks to housing provided by the Ronald McDonald charity, was only five minutes away.

Nevaeh was given urgent hospital treatment.

Nevaeh was given urgent hospital treatment.

Ten doctors were attempting to save Neveah’s life, performing various procedures such as injecting her with adrenaline, performing CPR and removing air from her lungs.

Although medics successfully restarted her heart, she had suffered from severe lack of oxygen, leaving her with organ failure and her brain severely damaged.

Nevaeh died in her mother’s arms on November 10, 2021.

Nevaeh was born weighing just 1lb 5oz.

Nevaeh was born weighing just 1lb 5oz.

Since the tragedy, Hayley, who runs fitness classes throughout Cheshire and Wirral, including in Ellesmere Port, has launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a cuddle cot so that families like hers can bring their babies home from hospital to say their final goodbyes.

Hayley said: "What we have witnessed and gone through is unimaginable and unless you have gone through it personally, I don’t think anyone can begin to understand how it feels.

Tragically, Nevaeh had a life-threatening condition called NEC.

Tragically, Nevaeh had a life-threatening condition called NEC.

“We were allowed to bring Nevaeh home using a cuddle cot, (a cold mattress that can go inside a crib). This was so comforting for us, as no one had met her alive due to Covid.

“The cuddle cot allowed us to introduce her to my parents and my five-year-old son.

“To some this is a cold sheet that means nothing. To a grieving parent, it’s the cold sheet that allows you to bring your child home.

“The time we had at home was comforting to us and I wanted to ensure all hospitals or charities had one of these to help other parents. I also wanted to give something back to Ronald McDonald charity which helped us so much both on the Wirral and Liverpool.

Hayley Ryder.

Hayley Ryder.

“Charity work won’t bring my daughter back but if I can use my heart-breaking experience to help a parent make their last few days with their child more comforting then this is my goal.

“I aim to raise £3,500 to start with for a cuddle cot and some towards Ronald Mcdonald House. I also plan to set up a group for bereaved parents and grandparents and see if I can use my profession to support them mentally through exercise.”

Hayleys HR Elite class members have already helped raise hundreds of pounds for her fundraising goal.

Hayley's HR Elite class members have already helped raise hundreds of pounds for her fundraising goal.

The first fitness event Hayley put on raised over £500 in 45 minutes, with participants wearing pink to show their respect.

Hayley, who won a national personal trainer award in November 2020, added: “Thank you to all that attended and my fabulous supportive and loyal group of members of my HRELITE group.”

  • If you would like to get involved with the fitness events, get in touch with HRELITE or to donate, please visit: https://gofund.me/536e4521 .
A rare photo Hayley has of her son and daughter together.

A rare photo Hayley has of her son and daughter together.