Share your thoughts

Have you read 'My Very Little Sister and the Very Big Story'? Share your thoughts and let Alina know how it helped you, or how you think it might help families with babies in neonatal care.

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, 4th December 2020

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, a mum from Eastbourne, 23rd November 2020

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, 20th November 2020

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, 16 November 2020

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, 2nd November 2020

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, 1st November 2020

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, 12th October 2020

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, 5th October 2020

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, 1st May 2020