Craig Wallbridge

Tommys march Brighton to Ashford

Fundraising for The Early Birth Association
raised of £10,000 target
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The Early Birth Association

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 286727
We provide help & support to the TMBU & PRH to help save more babies lives


Tommy was born 16 weeks premature 24+2 weeks gestation, weighing just 720g

At 7 days old he was rushed to Brighton Trevor Mann baby unit for his first life saving bowel surgery as he had a perforation and NEC, witch resulted in him loosing 3cm of bowel a stoma being created. Two weeks after his operation and praying for poo his stoma was still not working which resulted in another major surgery finding another perforation and his small intestine was fused to his colon meaning another 7cm of bowel was removed and a second stoma created.

In the coming two weeks again praying for poo he was transferred to Southampton hospital where he underwent PDA heart surgery and then had to take the two hour journey back to Brighton whilst having two collapsed lungs as he was born with Chronic Lung Disease from his prematurity. 

On returning to Trevor Mann his stoma finally started working 16 days after the second bowel surgery. This is when we were made aware from a post surgery brain scan that Tommy had suffered from a brain haemorrhage in which we wouldn't know the full extent of how this would affect him until he was full term and able to have an MRI scan (which the results show a grade 1 IVH)

Tommy's stoma unfortunately decided to prolapse to a huge extent meaning his bowel was now being strangled and needed emergency surgery for the third time. This somehow worked in his favour as it was at least another 6 weeks wait for his reversal stoma surgery but whilst he was in surgery they could see that his bowel had recovered as they would like so chose to do the early reversal but this did result in him loosing another 10cm of bowel due to it being strangled from the prolapse.

Tommy recovered well from this but then it became apparent that from the prematurity and over oxygenation that he had developed Grade 3 ROP in both of his eyes meaning that he was going blind due to his retina peeling away from the back of his eye, He underwent two laser eye surgeries to save his sight which we are lucky enough to say has worked. 

During the 5 and a half months that we were in Brighton we were lucky enough to be able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House free of charge only a minute away from our son. This was a huge relief and support network for us during our time in hospital during a pandemic. 

Tommy is now home on oxygen support for his lung disease but is thriving in every aspect and has shown the world what a true fighter he really is!

The only way we can give even a small amount back to everyone that was involved in Tommy's care and our support is to try and raise as much money as we can for them by which I will be walking from Brighton Trevor Mann unit coastal route back to Ashford William Harvey NICU which is 90miles and will be completed over 4 days sleeping under the stars and then ending with a big fun day for everyone to enjoy and get involved raising as much as we can. (August Bank Holiday Weekend - fun day on Monday 30th) 

Also if anyone would like join me in raising money for these three amazing charity's please feel free to contact me for more details. The more the merrier. all money raised will be split between EBA, RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE BRIGHTON AND TINNY TOES 

About the charity

The Early Birth Association

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 286727
The EBA makes a positive difference for babies, families and staff in Neonatal Care at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton, and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. We raise funds to purchase equipment for the units to help save more babies lives.

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+ £1,065.75 Gift Aid
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