A group of 30 bikers will arrive in Galway tomorrow (Friday) as part of a nationwide tour delivering life-saving equipment to neonatal intensive care units around the country.
The annual Ride Out For Prems sees the Irish Premature Babies group, some of whom are parents of premature babies, visiting 11 hospitals around Ireland this week including University Hospital Galway.
Each of the bikers participating has raised €1,000 through various fundraising events, including sponsored raffles, bucket collections, and a Bikers do Zumba event for Irish Premature Babies.
The pieces of equipment being delivered include incubators, heart monitors, ventilation and CPAP machines, as well as apnea monitors. Without Irish Premature Babies these pieces of equipment would be in limited supply. Over the course of the four day trip, the bikers are visiting neonatal ICUs, meeting the committed staff who care for premature babies, and presenting each of the units with medical equipment.
Every 116 minutes a premature baby is born in Ireland, which amounts to more than 4,500 premature babies a year. With the skills of staff and experts and the support of family and loving parents, more and more are surviving to live happy, healthy, lives. The start they get in life is the crucial factor, with babies with a gestation of as short as 24 weeks being born. Often a mother being able to express milk more frequently can be life saving for these babies, as it builds their immune systems.
People are being asked to go out and greet the riders as they arrive at each hospital on the four-day tour. The group are due to arrive at UHG at 4pm tomorrow.
This is the fourth year of Ride Out for PREMS. For more information on the Irish Premature Babies charity and updates on the tour see www.irishprematurebabies.com