The dad of a little boy who required lifesaving treatment when he was born at just 27 weeks will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon for The Sick Children’s Trust this month.
Alex Lindsay, from South Benfleet, is hoping to raise £1,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust to say thank you for supporting him and wife Sam with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation when their son, Henry, was born very premature.
Henry, now six, spent the first five months of his life in hospital. For three months he underwent specialist treatment on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at The Royal London Hospital, 40 miles away from home and for two months he was treated at the family’s local hospital in Southend. Henry’s tiny body endured four major operations alongside a bleed on the brain and pneumonia. As he fought for his life in The Royal London Hospital, his parents were just minutes away in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Despite all he faced, Henry is now a happy and healthy little boy living life to the full. And to say thank you for the support they received, Henry’s dad Alex is taking on his third fundraising event for The Sick Children’s Trust to raise vital funds for the charity.
Alex, who has previously raised £6,400 for The Sick Children’s Trust, says: “Becoming a Dad earlier than expected was both the happiest and most stressful moment. As Henry was so premature, we knew our little man would have a tough battle, though we had no idea what to expect.
“When Henry was transferred to The Royal London Hospital, his condition was critical and what broke our hearts was the fact we had to leave him as there was nowhere for us to stay. I can’t describe the pain we felt. Things soon became brighter and clearer when we were told that we had been given free accommodation at a ‘Home from Home’ called Stevenson House which was run by The Sick Children’s Trust, immediately we felt relief. Stevenson House saved us. There were no more trips back to Southend; we were there with Henry, by his side no matter what.
“As the years have passed, Henry’s grown up, become a big brother and inspirational little boy. He’s now in Year 1 at school and very much enjoys it. He’s an inquisitive boy asking lots of questions and also a very caring young man. We are incredibly proud of him.
“Thankfully, he’s very nearly signed off from the surgical and medical professionals which is great and even though we don’t have to go back to The Royal London anymore, we have never forgotten the support we received from The Sick Children’s Trust. We spent three months at Stevenson House, just minutes from Henry’s bedside while he was at his most fragile. We could be there, and want to make sure any other family going through a similar experience can be too. And that’s why I continue to fundraise for the charity.”
Although accommodation is provided free to families, it costs the charity £30 to support a family in one of its ten ‘Homes from Homes’ for one night. Stevenson House, which supports families with seriously ill children at The Royal London, has 16 family bedrooms, two fully equipped kitchens and is just a two minute walk from the hospital. Stevenson House Manager, Alan Booth, says:
“We’re so grateful for Alex’s continued support and I’m happy to hear what a lovely little boy Henry has grown up to be.
“With his fundraising to date, Alex has already made such a difference to hundreds of families who have had seriously ill children at The Royal London Hospital and has helped us keep them together at the worst imaginable times. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alex and his family, and we look forward to cheering him along on the day with Henry!”
To support Alex in his fundraising, please visit: http://bit.ly/2nW4mIH