“I think parents should do this sort of thing more often,” says Guðný María Waage, who donated ISK 250,000 (EUR 2,145/USD 2,345) to the Landspítali neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in lieu of first birthday presents to her daughter.
Arnheiður María Hermannsdóttir was one year old on April 22 and owes her life to the NICU, as she was born with pulmonary hypotension and stayed in the Unit for 13 days before she was allowed home with her parents, DV reports.
Guðný decided to mark the birthday by asking her friends and family not to buy gifts, but rather to make donations into an account set up by her grandmother, Arnheiður María’s great-grandmother, with a donation of ISK 30,000.
“My daughter has no need of birthday presents. She finds the wrapping paper much more exciting than what’s hiding inside the presents!” Guðný says.
Before Arnheiður was born, there was no suspicion that anything was wrong with her, but it soon became clear all was not well. The frail baby had to spend a week on a ventilator and her mother was not allowed to see her for six hours, and did not get to hold her until she was three days old.
Guðný would like the hospital to put the money towards more and better parents’ rooms at the NICU, as she said it was very difficult being sent home a week before her daughter was allowed home. Though she would rather have been allowed to stay longer, Guðný says the room they used was uncomfortable, with a too-small bed and a missing TV remote control. “It’s time to fix it,” she says.
Guðný says she was very pleasantly surprised the collection raised so much money for the good cause.