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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Carlisle mum's praise for hospital after son's premature birth

Now almost two, Ryan Wilkinson has been in and out of hospital since he was born three months premature.

Ryan WIlkinson photo
Ryan Wilkinson with, from left, Natalie Wanley, Maureen Foster, Debbie Wilkinson, Liz Nicholls and Julie Fragouli

But as mum Debbie pushes him through the doors of the Carlisle children’s ward, he is anything but scared.

His face lights up with joy as staff rush to greet him.

And this time he is on the ward for all the right reasons – to hand over money raised at a recent charity night.

Ryan, of Harraby, was born on October 3, 2010. Mum Debbie was just 27 weeks pregnant when her waters broke, while at work, so chances of him surviving at all were slim.

Weighing just 2lb 8oz, he was initially stabilised at the Cumberland Infirmary before being transferred to the specialist unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The youngster was eventually brought back to the special care baby unit in Carlisle, before finally being allowed home in January 2011.

He now suffers from severe disabilities, including being profoundly deaf, having chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy and muscle spasms, and is on oxygen 24 hours a day.

As a result he has been back in hospital many times, which is why friends and family decided to organise a charity night to say thank you.

Liz Nicholls and Maureen Foster know parents Debbie and David through the Saddle Tramps country and western music club, based in the city.

Liz said: “We wanted to do a charity night that was a bit different – so we came up with the idea of a pyjama party.

“We had it on September 8 at the Pirelli Club and it was brilliant. It was a real family event, everyone was dressed up and all the kids were dancing. There was a main raffle and side raffles with all kinds of fabulous prizes – from businesses and individuals.”

She added that entertainer and compere Stevie Las Vegas was key to its huge success – helping them raise a massive £1,376 in just one night.

The money has now been split between the three wards that helped Ryan – £563 going to the children’s ward, £563 for the RVI and £250 to the Carlisle special care baby unit.

On the children’s ward it will be used to buy sensory toys for children like Ryan to use at their bedsides.

Debbie said: “When we first got him home it was only four weeks before he got a really bad chest infection.

“We’ve been at hospital on and off ever since. He’s been resuscitated three times by his dad. It’s just nice to be able to give something back to everyone who has helped him.”

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