Twenty-four Plus Six
'A celebration not just of childbirth, but one of resilience, strength and an unbreakable family bond.’
Carl MacDonald, Author of PremDad
‘I’ve been a neonatal nurse for 32 years and I can honestly say I’ve never read anything so beautiful as this book. Amy’s honesty and bravery shines, and her account is told with rawness and compassion.
Claire Campbell, Northern Neonatal Network Care Coordinator
‘This is the book I wish I had been able to read when I was struggling so much with my mental health after my babies were born prematurely and poorly.'
Julie Lester, Mind
‘This book was like reading my own story. Should we name our baby? Does she feel pain? Would she be better off dead? We asked ourselves these questions on a daily basis. Thank you so much for writing this incredible book Amy, and for highlighting how amazing our NHS is for being able to save babies like ours every single day.’
Honey Attridge, Bromley Maternity Voices
'A much-needed reminder for doctors that the babies they care for with passion and precision are surrounded by family that need equally dedicated care and compassion.’
Christopher Harris MBChB PhD MRCPCH, consultant in Neonatal Medicine at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
‘Amy gives a frank account of the daily life of a NICU parent, which leads to a new 'normal' that has such an impact on mental wellbeing.'
Julie Voong, Head of Peer Support, Ickle Pickles
‘Amy writes with astounding clarity about a time when most would not be able to tie their shoelaces.'
Hannah Grout, PR Officer, Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust
‘A brilliant resource for staff working within perinatal healthcare, from the acute teams to the community services.’
Laura Corrigan, Mindful Mums Project Coordinator
‘A compelling, extraordinarily descriptive, and painfully honest account, highlighting the need for parents and the wider family to be seen and valued as the primary caregivers for their babies and as equitable partners within the multidisciplinary team.’
Carrie-Anne Davies Bateman, Local Care Coordinator for Thames Valley and Wessex Neonatal Operational Delivery Network
'Essential reading for anyone who needs to be a part of the neonatal journey.’
Dr R L Collum, lecturer at Sunderland University
‘Powerful, moving, heartfelt and poignant.'
Maria Chifa, Author of Poetry from Within the NICU
My Very Little Sister and the Very Big Story
I just read your book and I wanted to write to you to say thank you for being so brave and writing down your thoughts and feelings on what must have been a scary time. There are a few copies of your book in my local hospital for families to read while their babies are being looked after by the doctors and nurses, and I decided to read it in my breaktime. I'm a Student Midwife and your book helped me to see the siblings of the babies we look after, differently. I am going to work really hard to try to take time to explain to siblings what the tubes that go onto the babies do, in a way they can understand, so that hopefully they can be less scared of the staff. I always try to be kind to everybody I meet, but I am going to try especially hard with siblings of poorly babies now. Thank you so much Alina!
Mel, Student Midwife
Often the nursing and medical teams can empathise, but we definitely cannot articulate how difficult the journey can sometimes be, and most of us have never walked a mile in your shoes.
Sarah Szpara, Senior Sister, Airedale Hospital Neonatal Unit
The book is absolutely brilliant - so thoughtful, insightful and poignant. Also heart-breaking to think how many BIG emotions Alina had to deal with at such a young age. All that love that she has for her sister at the same time as feeling so angry and upset about the situation. What an incredible girl she is and how lucky Anela is to have Alina as her big sister.
Emily Smith, Chair of the East of England Neonatal Parent Advisory Group
Thanks for our copy of ‘My Very Little Sister and the Very Big Story’...Jolie loved reading it to Sienna! Alina you should be very proud of yourself, you’re as strong as your little sister, just like Jolie was for Sienna. I love the drawings, they are fantastic.
Marie, neonatal mum from Eastbourne
This is a fantastic, beautifully illustrated book that captures the world of the NICU through a child’s eyes. We are very proud to be able to give these books out and hope the siblings of our tiny, little patients will really enjoy reading them and hopefully help them to voice their own feelings about having a sibling in hospital.
Hannah Fraser-James, Neonatal Sister - Special Care Lead, Trevor Mann Baby Unit, Royal Sussex County Hospital
What a powerful book. Thank you for sharing your family's journey with the world. It has actually made me cry; as a neonatal nurse we are constantly thinking and practicing compassion for families but I’ve never really understood the impact that a neonatal journey has on a young sibling. We often hope they are ‘too young’ to absorb it all but that’s so not true.
Robyn Smart, Lead Nurse, South West Neonatal Network
What an achievement, Alina! Well done! I am sure this book will travel far and do a lot of good. It will help people to be more aware of all that premature babies and their families go through. The more people know, the more understanding and compassion grows. We can not yet tell how many people your book will touch, but you can be sure it will enlighten all those who read it. A big thank you for helping others to understand about early birth and all it entails.
M. Martin D.H.P, Therapist
Please know that I'm amazed by your 4-year-old daughter and your kindness to share your story with other families. Thank you!
Giezl Pulanco, Senior Sister, Special Care Baby Unit, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford
This book sounds amazing and I'm sure it will help other families and siblings through the very difficult neonatal journey.
June Swanton, Senior Sister, Neonatal Unit, Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey
I loved your book, it brought me to tears actually! It really brought home to me how much siblings go through when their brother/sister is admitted to NICU and how we must continue to provide that extra support for them that is so desperately needed at this very scary time.
Vicky Vining, NICU Ward Manager, William Harvey Hospital, Kent
This is amazing; both wonderful and heart-breaking in equal measures. Alina conveys a brilliant and honest account of what it is like for young siblings when a baby brother or sister is born early. I am so impressed at how well she manages to communicate her feelings and experience, and at such a young age! I think it is very difficult to realise the impact a premature or poorly baby has on siblings and I am sure that reading or listening to how Alina felt will help many others.
Heidi Crawford, Early Birth Association Co-Chair