A woman who nearly died when she was one of the first babies to be born at Watford General Hospital has supported our campaign to buy new cots.

Miriam O’Connor came into the world on July 24, 1968 – just weeks after the maternity unit opened.

Her mum, Mary, was one of the first 20 women to give birth at the hospital, but the experience was a traumatic one.

“Mum had a complicated birth and it was touch and go for both of us,” Miriam explained. “But we both got excellent care.”

She is due to celebrate her 50th birthday next month and wanted to give back to the hospital which saved her life.

Having read about the Watford Observer’s plea for donations to help Katherine Ward buy 26 new cots, she decided it was the perfect tribute.

The ‘Watford Cots: The Next Generation’ campaign was launched by healthcare assistant Jackie Fitzsimons, whose own daughters, 26 and 28, spent the first nights of their lives in the same cribs.

She needs to raise £18,00 by 26 new cribs by next June, and each one costs £500.

But thanks to the help of generous people, including companies from all over Watford and kind-hearted individuals, it has so far raised nearly £7,000.

Miriam added: “My mum and I thought it was a nice way of celebrating me turning 50. The staff are always lovely at the hospital and it’s a great way to honour everything they’ve done over the years.

“We just want to say thank you really.”