Walk for the ward: Help Premature Babies like BETTY

WORDS: Marina Popov PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Betty Brown has been a fighter from the beginning.

Born three whole months before her expected due date, Betty was dangerously premature and spent nearly 11 long and tough weeks in neonatal intensive care, fighting to grow stronger and breathe on her own.

Robina parents, Stacey Telford and Mick Brown, said it was really difficult seeing their fragile 957-gram baby girl hooked up to machines, IV lines, and put on a ventilator to provide vital oxygen to support her immature lungs.

“It’s still hard and it makes me really sad that instead of having photos of Mick and Betty asleep on the couch, I have photos of Betty hooked up to machines with Mick’s hands in her humidicrib,” Stacey says.

“It was tough just looking at her through the glass and touching her.”

Born in May 2022, Betty is one of more than 12,000 children and babies treated at Gold Coast University Hospital in the last year.

During her recovery in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Special Care Nursery, Betty has been cared for in a Kanmed Baby Bed, funded by Gold Coast Hospital Foundation.

Gold Coast Hospital Foundation CEO Ben Cox said it is through fundraising and community support that the Foundation can continue to provide lifesaving equipment and services for the children, babies and families that need it most.

“The hard-working paediatric doctors and nurses who provide critical care to the sickest and most vulnerable children and babies, walk an average of 12,000 steps each shift so patients like Betty can ultimately transition home faster,” Ben says.

“This September, Gold Coast Hospital Foundation is calling on the Gold Coast community to join the new Walk for the Ward challenge.”

Walk for the Ward is a month-long virtual step challenge where participants walk 12,000 steps every day in September to help raise vital funds for sick children and babies in the paediatric and neonatal wards at Gold Coast University Hospital.

Despite the challenges Betty and her family faced, Stacey and Mick are grateful they had medical equipment funded by Gold Coast Hospital Foundation to help Betty recover.

“I’m grateful Betty was able to have all the care she needed in this hospital,” Stacey says.

“You don’t realise until you’re in this situation how much an organisation like Gold Coast Hospital Foundation supports families and babies.

“Knowing that people have donated to make sure we have the facilities and equipment that we need here on the Gold Coast is super important.

“We’d like to encourage everyone to get involved and Walk for the Ward to help raise funds that will support children and babies just like our Betty.”

To sign up to Walk for the Ward, register at