Amanda Rutherford started fundraising after experiencing the amazing work done in the unit when daughter Tabitha was born in 2007.
She was born at 24 weeks gestation, weighing just 1lb 8oz and was so delicate she had to be covered in bubble wrap. Tabitha spent 22 weeks in Stirling Royal neonatal unit but now the seven-year-old is thriving and a P3 pupil at Bonnybridge Primary School.
Amanda said: “I didn’t set out to start a fund, I fell into it after doing a fundraising event but I’m proud of what we have achieved. However, it’s time to move on. I think I’ve hounded the same family and friends for long enough to come to Tiny Tabitha events!”
Over the years the fund has held bingo nights, discos and raffles and individuals have contributed with efforts like marathons.
The money has paid for alternative therapies for premature babies including training nurses on infant massage techniques and buying specialist equipment to help the babies and their parents to bond.
Amanda said: “I wasn’t allowed to hold Tabitha for the first 20 days of her life and I wish some of the things we have now were available then.
“It’s so difficult to see your tiny baby so frail and ill and you can feel helpless but some of the items we have paid for help.”
The fund has paid for Zaky hands, a weighted soft bag scented by the parents to provide comfort to a newborn and super soft muslin clots to create newborn nests.
Amanda, who also has son John (27), added: “Over the years I’ve had lovely messages from parents that have benefitted from the fund, including some that’s babies didn’t make it and the equipment from Tiny Tabitha made the experience feel less clinical.
“It’s been an amazing seven years, but it’s time to move on.”
Amanda (46), from Longcroft, plans to hang up her fundraising hat in style, with a ladies night at Carronshore Social Club on Saturday, November 7 with a fashion show, prize raffle and naked butlers.
Tickets cost £5 and are available from the Tiny Tabitha Facebook page.
Gillian Morton, general manger of women and childrens services, thanked Amanda for her work and said: “ Over the past seven years she has work tirelessly to raise funds to buy a wide range of items which have helped comfort many babies across Forth Valley.”