Friday, 27 November 2015

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Dad raises £15,000 for hospitals which cared for premature twins

A DOTING dad has raised £15,000 for two hospitals which cared for his twin sons born prematurely.

Sadly, one twin died – but the other survived and dad Chris Dixon has spent the past year fundraising for Carlisle’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and the neonatal unit at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Chris took part in the Three Peaks Challenge and the money he raised will be split equally between the two hospitals.

Chris’s wife Victoria’s waters broke just 15 weeks into pregnancy and the couple spent the next 11 weeks going back and forward for scans as they desperately tried to hold off labour for as long as possible. But at 27 weeks the contractions suddenly began.

Victoria, who was also in danger due to internal bleeding, then faced a race against time as she was rushed across to Middlesbrough to give birth at a specialist unit on November 26, 2011.

Following an emergency Caesarean, her boys, Harry and James, were born three months early, each weighing just over two pounds.

Harry died after a six-hour fight but James survived and after open heart surgery in Newcastle, he remained in the Middlesbrough hospital for six weeks before being transferred to SCBU in Carlisle. James was finally allowed home five weeks later.

The couple, of Hutton End, near Penrith, returned to SCBU to say thanks to staff and to show them the progress James has made in his first year.

Chris, 31, who is a vet in Penrith, said: “I raised a lot of the cash by doing the Three Peaks Challenge with friends.

“We probably chose the worst day of the year to do it – in June – as it was really stormy and it was snowing on Ben Nevis, but we completed it in 24 hours.

“James has just celebrated his first birthday and although he’s still on oxygen he’s doing well. We visited the Cumberland Infirmary and presented a year book to the staff about James’s first year. We hope it might help other parents.”

Victoria, who is also a vet in Penrith, said: “It’s really sad that we lost Harry. We will never forget him, but we know we have been very lucky.”

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