THE father of a baby born 14 weeks prematurely has thanked all those who helped raise £932 for the neonatal unit which saved his son.
Craig Walters has praised Littlehampton Rugby Club for raising the cash for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth.
The unit was instrumental in caring for Craig’s son, Archie-John, who was born 14 weeks prematurely, weighing just 2lb.
Due to the early birth, the tot was unable to breath normally by himself and needed oxygen support from the moment he was born, receiving round-the-clock treatment from the staff at the unit.
Craig, 26, of Belloc Road, Wick, said: “Shortly after Archie was born he was quickly taken to intensive care because of his serious condition, and we weren’t allowed to see him for five hours – the longest five hours of our lives.
“The support from the hospital staff could not have been better, and I don’t think we could have coped without their support.”
Archie-John was allowed to go home after eight weeks under observation at Queen Alexandra Hospital, and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
Now nine months old, Archie-John is doing really well, and this week for the first time in his life he was breathing without the aid of oxygen support on a trial basis to see how he gets on.
And on Saturday, to mark the milestone, Craig and his wife Kerry travelled up to the hospital to present to the cash.
Craig, who is the captain of Littlehampton Rugby Club, said: “It was really nice to be able to give something back.”
Craig also wanted to thank all those at rugby club for arranging the fundraiser, which saw more than 50 people taking part in a range of games.
President of Littlehampton Rugby Club Mark Quinney, who helped organise the event, expressed his thanks to all the people who showed their support for this and other causes that the club gets involved with.
He said: “It was a great way to get local people, both young and old, together to get behind a good cause that means so much to so many.”
New charity events are planned for the coming months.
Those interested in finding out more are being urged to visit the rugby club’s website at www.littlehamptonrugby.co.uk for the latest details about future events.