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Right Arrow Donations to Neonatal Unit at Ormskirk and to Alder Hey Hospital - PR/22/0506
04 October 2005 at 09:04
With six boys aged between 14 and 2 and a new baby girl to look after, you would think Jan Woods of Orchard Hey, Old Roan had got enough on her plate. But no, because her baby daughter Molly has Downs Syndrome, and because she felt there could be more support for parents with similar children, Jan decided to set up her own support group.

Jan and her friend Lynn, who also had a Downs Syndrome daughter, Emily, around the same time, contacted other parents in a similar position. They joined forces with the Southport support group and with other parents from across Sefton and became the Sefton Up on Downs support group. She is confident that the new group can offer support, help and priceless friendship to both existing and new members.

Not only that, but she has started a mother and toddler group and found time to raise over £3,600 for the Neonatal Unit at Ormskirk & District General Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the support group Up on Downs. Molly Woods was born on 20th October 2004 and not only were Jan and her husband Patrick surprised to have a baby girl after 6 boys, they were surprised to be told she had Downs Syndrome.

Commenting on what happened after Molly was born, Janet said, “It was a great shock to learn that Molly had Downs Syndrome. She also had a small hole in her heart and needed oxygen so had to spend 2 weeks on the neonatal unit at Ormskirk. It was a very difficult time for the whole family, but it was made a lot easier for us all by the wonderful staff at the unit.

They were so thorough, especially Caroline Travers and Karen Devine. They talked and talked to me about what Molly was going through and what to expect in the future. Also there was another mum, Lynn, on the unit at the time who had had twins, Emily and Joseph. Emily happens to have Downs Syndrome, and Lynn and I were able to support each other and have become such good friends.”

The Support Group Up on Downs, meets every 4-6 weeks and can be contacted on 0151 286 1898. More than 20 families have joined the group ranging from babies to a 28 year old. The mother and toddler group meet every Tuesday in Crosby and has 10-15 members. In addition, Janet and her friend Lynn decided they needed to raise some money for Up on Downs, and arranged a Charity Night earlier in the year at the Copple House pub in Fazakerley. Because Lynn’s daughter Emily had to go to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for a heart operation, they decided to divide the donations between Alder Hey, Ormskirk neonatal unit and Up on Downs. In total £3,664 was raised. Jan would like to thank the manager from The Copple House for providing the function room for free, and she added, “Many thanks must also go to all our friends and family who attended the night, their generosity was unbelievable.”

Finally, as if Janet hasn’t done enough, she organised a trip to Camelot Theme Park for the Downs Awareness Day, and ended up filling a double-decker coach, and she has organised a Christmas Party for local children with Downs Syndrome. Anyone wishing to make donations for the Children’s Christmas Party can contact Jan on 0151 286 1898.

Issued by Matthew King,
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.
Enquiries to: Matthew King
Tel: 01704 704714
E-mail: matthew.king@southportandormskirk.nhs.uk