Charity Masquerade Gala Ball - In memory of Thomas

“Some of us arrive too early and for some of us we didn’t get to stay”

                Fashion Through the Ages II Charity Fundraiser – October 2019

 
Did you know that every year over 4,500 preterm babies are born in Ireland? This equates to a preterm baby being born every 116 minutes in one of Ireland’s maternity units.

On August 29th 2016, shortly after 11:00, my sister Aislinn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy while she was on holiday in Portugal with her husband Tony. Thomas James Gabriel Latimer was born 15 weeks early and weighed just 758 grams.

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Thomas, such a little fighter, coupled with the love of his parents and the amazing care he received from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Hospital De Faro had at 11 weeks, developed significantly enough that he could be transferred to a hospital in London where Aislinn and Tony lived.

After 2 weeks in London, on a Friday afternoon we got the amazing news to prepare for Thomas coming home in 2-3 weeks. It was such a relief to receive that excited call from Aislinn asking me to help her order the Moses basket and other baby bits needed for Thomas's homecoming, there was such a feeling of complete elation. The following day, my brother-in-laws parents came to visit Thomas and all was great, until things began to go horribly wrong. Thomas had contracted NEC.

That Sunday Thomas was transferred to another hospital where he had emergency surgery carried out to remove the infected tissue and it was thought to have gone well, given the circumstances. Follow up surgery was scheduled for the following Wednesday afternoon, November 30th.

In the operating theatre, the Surgeon soon realized that the worst had occurred and there was nothing more they could do for Thomas. The infection had spread with catastrophic consequences. All machines were switched off at 15:50 and at 20:05 that same day, November 30th, Thomas Latimer aged just 13 weeks and 1-day old passed away in Aislinn's arms.

I can't begin to explain how truly awful an infant's death is. Or how horrific making arrangements for a baby’s funeral are and I hope you have never had to or will have to yourself. The feeling of helplessness I have as Aislinn’s sister, to be able to give her the support she and my brother-in-law deserve is immense. With that, I was determined that I wanted to try and do something over and above just providing emotional and practical support that I came up with the idea of a fundraiser and “Fashion Through the Ages” began.

The first event, a Fashion Show and Afternoon Tea combo, took place on Sunday November 19th 2017 and was chosen to coincide with World Prematurity Day and was hosted in the Osprey Hotel in Naas. It involved 20 x Models, 8 x Boutiques, 4 x Entertainers, 3 x Photographers + much more. The money that was raised was split between the Irish Premature Babies Charity and specifically to the NICU at Hospital De Faro, who were instrumental in giving Thomas a chance of survival and where he had spent 11 of the 13 short weeks we were blessed with him. 

Ahead of Thomas’s 3rd anniversary, I am organizing another fundraiser, Fashion Through The Ages II. This time a Gala Masquerade Ball on Saturday 26th October 2019 in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire. This date is to coincide with "Infant Loss Awareness Month” followed by World Prematurity Day and his anniversary.  

Can you help? I am looking to engage with prospective event Sponsors, Vendors, and Entertainers etc. and was hopeful that you may be in a position to provide assistance.

I am looking for support in a variety of ways;

- Event Sponsorship
- Auction Prizes
- Event Attendance (possible company social Committee engagement) 
- Social Media Assistance (Share, like, post etc. across the different platforms available)
- Donations

Please be advised that the monies raised through this fundraiser will be given primarily to the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance charity (www.inha.ie). The charity is Ireland’s first collaborative platform and network to represent the interests of preterm infants and ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) as well as their families.

A portion of the monies raised will also go to Nascer Prematuro Premature Babies’ Parents Association (www.facebook.com/nascerprematuro), who are affiliated to the NICU at The Algarve University Hospital Center - Faro, who were instrumental in giving Thomas a chance of survival and where he spent 11 of the 13 short weeks we were blessed with him.

Whilst the outcome for my nephew was and still is truly awful, miracles do happen. 

It is intended that this fundraiser will not only provide much needed money to enable the charity to continue doing the amazing work they do, but also increase awareness of this hugely supportive resource. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated and is for a hugely important cause.

For more information and to get involved, please get in touch with me, I really hope to hear from you.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FASHIONTHROUGHTHEAGES2019/ 

Eventbrite Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fashion-through-the-ages-II-masquerade-ball-tickets

Donations

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  • Lisa Mantle  
    • €50 
    • 9 mos
  • Anjly Daniels 
    • €20 
    • 10 mos
  • Andrea Rodden 
    • €20 
    • 11 mos
  • Julia Reynolds 
    • €50 
    • 11 mos
  • Emma Lynch 
    • €20 
    • 11 mos
See all

Organizer

Sinead Hunter 
Organizer
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