Harvey Anderson-Hill's life hung in the balance when he was born 14 weeks prematurely, at 26 weeks.

But thanks to the treatment he received at the RUH's Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit he survived.

Harvey, who is three today, suffered no ill effects and has just been discharged as an outpatient from the hospital.

His mother, Julie, raised almost £3,500 for state-of-the-art medical equipment for the NICU by doing a wing walk on a biplane.

Mrs Anderson-Hill, 40, and her husband, Keith, 43, a procurement manager, who live in Bulkington, near Devizes, were told that Harvey might not survive when he was delivered by emergency Caesarean section.

Mrs Anderson-Hill had pre-eclamptic toxaemia, putting both her life and that of her unborn child in grave danger.

Harvey was born weighing 2lb and he was whisked off to NICU.

Mrs Anderson-Hill, a human resources manager, said: "We were told that, at 26 weeks, there was a 50 per cent survival rate and if our baby survived he may develop cerebral palsy."

But Harvey surprised the medics with his progress and left hospital after 11 weeks, three weeks earlier than predicted. He weighed 4lb 1oz.

Mrs Anderson-Hill said: "Harvey is a thriving and wilful little boy who has brought great joy to our lives.

"I will be eternally grateful for the help and support that the NICU gave and am under no illusion that without the advancements in technology and improvements in medical practice he may not be here today.

"We are indebted to the nurses and the doctors. There is not a day goes by that I think how lucky and humbled we are that Harvey survived. Other children were not quite so fortunate."

Mrs Anderson-Hill said the only criticism she had of the NICU was its cramped conditions.

She said: "A private and life celebrating experience became a medically public and traumatic experience."

Mrs Anderson-Hill recalled a poignant moment when she arrived at NICU one morning to be told by a nurse that a family was switching off the life support machine of the baby next to Harvey's incubator and, because of the cramped conditions in the unit, she was asked to give them privacy.

She added: "We fully support the Space to Grow campaign and we can fully understand why a new unit is needed. It will make a huge difference for parents."


  • The NICU ward at the Bath RUH cares for around 500 babies each year. In the most serious cases some babies can be at the unit for up to six months.
  • Twins and triplets are more likely to arrive early, which is why more facilities are needed for multiple births.
  • The NICU employs just under 50 members of staff. A day shift will require seven or eight staff and a night shift will need five or six depending on how busy the ward is, although if they had the room they could employ more.
  • The unit has space for 21 special care babies.
  • There are four intensive care and three high dependency units on the ward.
  • One in ten babies are born prematurely or seriously ill. In the Wiltshire and Somerset region one in ten babies will use NICU.
  • For fundraising ideas and details about how to donate and raise money for the new NICU ward visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or call them on (01225) 825825.