MORE than £3,000 has been raised to support a young couple whose baby son is in need of a life-saving transplant.

Dionne Winthrop, 23, and Mark Young, 22, have spent the past six weeks in Leeds General Infirmary with their eight-month-old son Blake.

From the moment he was born in January - at just 24 weeks and six days gestation - Blake has battled through a number of health issues.

He weighed just 1 lb and 11 ounces when he was born and has undergone heart surgery, laser eye surgery and three operations to remove recurring hernias.

He was diagnosed with biliary-atresia, a disease of the liver’s bile ducts that causes them to become inflamed and blocked, but a procedure to prevent his liver becoming damaged failed, leaving him in need of a transplant.

It's been a difficult time for his parents, of Mardale Road, Raffles, who have watched as their first baby has fought to get over every hurdle.

Added to their heartache, they have to take turns to see him due to Covid-19 restrictions, alternating every week.

After hearing what they were going through, funeral director Jill Glencross set up a fundraising page to ease the financial burden on the young couple.

Dionne's maternity leave has come to an end and Mark was laid off two weeks before Blake was born.

Jill, who is a close friend of Dionne's aunty, said she just wanted to help and is urging others to do the same.

"It costs nothing to be nice and to do something for someone and with everything that's gone on of late, it's nice to see people coming together," she said.

"We just want him to get better and for them all to come home and have a normal life."

"It must be hard and they are so young."

"It costs very little to make the world of difference. If it was my daughter or my family, you would want someone to help you."

She continued: "[Dionne] was elated for this bundle of joy and then she's had all this heartbreak.

"They have just had it so tough. He was tiny when he was born and what he has actually been through, he's just fought and fought.

"They are living away from home. There is only the two of them and they are not allowed to go in together and see him.

"He's got a long road ahead but when you look at what he's been through so far he's obviously a strong little thing with all the surgery he has had."

Mark has said: “It’s nice to know there is people looking out for us and saying we are doing an amazing job but it’s just so hard."

To donate visit the Help Baby Blake page on

Read more about Blake's fight here.