Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
It's amazing - you've already helped us smash our first target and second targets. We've now set a new bar and we're raising our game. Your continued support is appreciated so much! :)
You can follow my progress on the 3 Peaks Challenge and get updates on Crosby at my blog
I never expected to be raising money for Tiny Lives and the wards at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary - I'm actually a little ashamed that I haven't done more for charity over the years. I've sponsored people and give a little regularly but not since school have I been the fund-raiser doing the challenge!
Our lives were turned upside down when Crosby arrived 8 weeks early. We'd had a worrying 6 weeks before his birth as Jill my wife nearly went into labour at 26 weeks. We made the difficult and risky decision to allow the surgeon to try and stall the birth with a cervical stitch. It worked and Jill stopped work until Crosby arrived (still much earlier than we would have liked or were ready for) two days after Xmas, small but perfectly formed.
At 3lb 10oz he was, as yet, nameless. Jill finally came round when on day 2 I found the name in a baby book meaning we had a bona fide first name and of Viking descent no less. Crosby - 'from the place by the cross' even though I had originally and blatantly stolen him from Stills, Nash and Young.
It was on day 4 that things took a major turn - we were called at 6:00a.m. by the ward staff and told to come straight in as Crosby was seriously ill. When we arrived, he looked totally different and obviously very ill. He had developed NEC(Necrotisingenterocolitis) which was manifesting itself as inflamed and infected bowel which also led to an Ecoli sepsis of the blood. He was transferred to the RVI and treated 'conservatively' using about a dozen different antibiotics.
Unfortunately, after getting better over a few weeks, the healing process had compromised some parts of the bowel so, having been almost going home, we had to go back to the RVI, this time for surgery. Over the course of the next several weeks, Crosby had 7 procedures (including a stoma for 8 weeks) until eventually we thought he'd cracked it and had begun feeding again.
We were already learning not to get too excited and we were again proven correct in this when Crosby, out of nowhere suddenly developed some neurological problems. He was having 'absence seizures' of some kind and an MRI showed some changes to his white matter in his brain - luckily he seems to have recovered well from this episode and we got him home for a couple of weeks in late April.
But he seemed to be getting a bit too used to being in hospital and after some pleasant days at home, we were packing for another long stay - his weight had been dropping and blood appeared in his nappy.
Current thinking is a cow's milk allergy and as I write this, we're still in RVI with our fingers crossed - he's had more procedures and is getting fed intravenously but we don't really know when we'll get him home again.
Walking up three hills in 24 hours seems like the least I can do by comparison to what our little man has been through. It will be a challenge, but only being away from him for the time it takes.
Jill and I will never be able to thank enough, all of the people who have helped and supported Crosby since his birth (there have been well over 100) but giving something back to the hospital wards 35 (Tiny Lives), 12 (PICU), 9 (Surgical Ward) and Crawford House (The Sick Children's Trust) is now the mission so that other families can continue to benefit from the excellent work done here.
Your support is appreciated in the most profound and cherished way possible.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.