Date of release: 31 October 2022
A loving family has donated more than £1,000 to help Wolverhampton’s vulnerable babies after their “miracle” daughter who weighed just half a bag of sugar at birth reached her 14th birthday.
Talitha Caris Sond weighed just 1lb 2oz when she was born at 23 weeks and six days at New Cross Hospital on 27 October, 2008. Fourteen years later, her parents were reunited with the consultant who helped save her life.
Dad Teerth Sond, Sarah Crowshaw, Neonatal Unit Ward Manager, Amy Addiss, Senior Sister, Lucy Ageoye, Neonatal Staff Nurse, Ann Hazel (behind, almost hidden), Personal Assistant to Senior Management Team, Sarah Downes-Baugh, Neonatal Staff Nurse, Babu Kumaratne (in navy), Consultant Neonatologist, SmartglazeUK co-director Gurpal Sehmi, Louise Forsyth (in lilac uniform), Neonatal Support Worker, and SmartglazeUK co-director Charles Deward, and front, Talitha Sond
Talitha didn’t have a heartbeat for four hours and was declared clinically dead before being revived by the care and skills of staff at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s Neonatal Unit.
Parents Teerth and Usha Sond were told to expect the worst and warned their daughter could be deaf, blind and with a brain injury. But after heart surgery and five months in the unit, she pulled through and is now a healthy teenager, loving life.
Her name is taken from the bible, in the gospel of Mark, chapter five, when Jesus said: “Talitha koum” which means ‘little girl, arise’.
Tragically, Talitha’s sister, Aniya Gabriella Sond, died just two weeks after being born at New Cross on 2 October, 2012, spending her short life on the same unit.
But the couple were so impressed by the care and treatment their daughters had at New Cross they set up a charity called Voices of the Voiceless (VOTV). Through that, they wanted to do something to support other families in a similar situation. They would like the money to go towards incubator care.
Teerth said: “This is a story of hope – Talitha is a miracle child. As soon as you go to the Neonatal Unit, you think ‘is my child going to be OK?’ But we saw the work of the staff there and we want to support their work.
“One day in the womb is like seven days in an incubator so the womb should be the most secure place for a baby, and we want to make a contribution towards incubator care for neonatal babies.
“We thought we were going through the same with Gabriella as we did four years previously with Talitha, but this time we saw the other side of the coin.
“The nurses and doctors did their best to save her but she suffered internal bleeding and died at 5pm on 16 October 2012. A member of staff (Chew Grainger, Neonatal Junior Sister, now retired) was with us when Gabriella breathed her last breath and she cried – the compassion she showed was real.
“Even though she had tears, Gabriella never had a voice to speak out, but through her short life, VOTV was born. If I could carry a legacy that through my daughter’s death others have survived, I have done my job.”
Teerth, 49, and Usha, 46, were reunited with Babu Kumararatne, Consultant Neonatologist, who helped saved Talitha’s life, along with other Neonatal Unit staff to present a cheque for £700 to The RWT Charity at New Cross Hospital, with the extra money coming in cash donations.
Teerth is co-owner of home improvement firm SmartglazeUK and a registered pastor and minister at the Fellowship of Servants in All Saints, Wolverhampton.
A total of £300 was raised by the Fellowship of Servants’ congregation, with VOTV contributing £400. A further £200 came from Smartglaze customer Harry Semhon, and £100 from Teerth’s parents Hari Ram and Gurimoto Kaur. An additional £50 came from Jass Singh, another SmartglazeUK customer, took the total to £1,050.
In remembering Aniya Gabriella’s life, Teerth takes a quote from Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch lady and Christian writer who survived the Nazi concentration camp after trying to protect Jews in her home and said: “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
Teerth added: “This is Aniya Gabriella’s story through VOTV. Through VOTV many babies lives have been saved.” If anyone else would like to make a donation, they should email VOTV at firstname.lastname@example.org
The couple, who have been married for 23 years and also have daughters Hannah Leah, 21 and Taliya 16 and son Joshua 11, were joined at the presentation by fellow SmartglazeUK co-directors Gurpal Sehmi and Charles Deward.
And in another generous offer, Teerth is offering any NHS staff in the Midlands a 25 per cent discount off any SmartglazeUK products as a thank you for their efforts. Staff can access this via www.smartglazeuk.uk or by calling 0333 22 48 007.
“I have been there, up close and personal, and seen what care staff give, and this is a gesture to them and their professionalism,” added Teerth.
Notes to Editor
- For further information, please call Tim Nash 07714 741097 or email email@example.com