Joe Spurgeon

Jay and Cormac's fundraising page

Fundraising for Cots for Tots
raised of £30,000 target
Cots for Tots

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1043603
We raise money to transform the lives of sick babies


At 4.35pm, on Wednesday, August the 28th, 2013, our son Jay took his last breath. He hadn't had many - four days' worth, in fact - but when we said goodbye, after an afternoon holding, washing and talking to him, it felt like he'd been with us a heck of a lot longer.

He and his twin brother Cormac arrived some three months plus ahead of schedule, and that was just too much for Jay. Despite overcoming a series of challenges and showing signs of recovery, he finally succumbed to a devastating bleed on his brain. We won't forget the phrase "Grade 4 Intraventricular Haemorrhage" in a hurry.

A week later, owing to a pair of very poorly lungs, Cormac lay prone for days whilst a machine attempted to shake some breath into his body. We got 'that' phonecall at 4am one morning and were told his life was under serious threat too and we should come in, fast.

But, bit by bit, with glacial pace, he began to fight back. He moved to a less intense breathing machine. After two weeks we heard him make a sound for the first time. Then, with a little help, we had our first (very nervous) cuddle. He weighed less than a bag o' sugar.

All told, he worked his way through four different breathing support machines, endured several infections, two viruses, two operations, four blood transfusions, a lumbar puncture and all sorts of brain, chest and MRI scans, blood tests, eye exams, prods and pokes and a stash of unpronounceable drugs. He had a stormy course, but after 95 days under the heroic care of the nurses, doctors and consultants of the St Michael's Neonatal Care Unit, he came home.

Home. At last. On Elly's birthday.

He's delicate, small, and still needs a bunch of drugs and a lot of help, but each burp, puke, wail and occasional smile feels like a bit of a gift. Even at 4am when we've had no sleep.*

It's sometimes sad to look at Cormac and feel Jay's shadow on him, but it's a happy, happy miracle he's here at all. That miracle was not only due to the medical care he received, but the tireless support of our friends and family and Cots for Tots - who fundraise for the unit and provided us with no-questions free accommodation just a stone's throw from where the twins were being looked after. Heck, they even washed our pants.

That, coupled with an incubator that costs about a grand a day, medication that costs a grand a shot and the zillions of procedures, equipment and people that helped put us - and him - back on our feet, means that the least we can do is say thank you.

We'll list a few of the events and fundraisers (yep, we're coming for your wallets) we'll be doing here, but for now, we'd just like to say thank you to everyone who played a part, big or small, in our lives over these months. 

I know we've asked a lot of you recently, but if you have a few spare quid, or less, and could take thirty seconds to hit that big old DONATE button, we can help out the brilliant, brilliant charity that were such a source of comfort and support to our little family.

Saved our lives, in fact.

Joe, Elly, Cormac x


*not strictly true

**A quick update, 24/9/15:
Just ten days ago, on Mon 14 Sept, in the very same surgical theatre where Jay and Cormac were born, little Peggy also came into the world, all flushed pink skin and wildly flailing limbs. She was 30 minutes off her due date. And not an incubator was to be seen...

***Another quick update, 26/6/18:
Sporting a spangly pair of electro-blue hearing aids and glasses, Cormac is now four and heading to school in September. He likes Lego. A lot. And despite barely being able to see or hear for two years, he's got "the vocabulary of a five-year-old" we were told. Go on lad...

About the charity

Cots for Tots

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1043603
Cots for Tots is the special care baby charity raising money to save and transform lives at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital Bristol, and Cots for Tots House, free 'home from home' accommodation for families of babies from Bristol, the South West, South Wales and beyond.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £7,340.38 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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