Dad helps the unit where little miracles happen

Grace Taylor was born prematurely weighing just 2lbs 8oz, now her dad is helping the unit that saved her life. Catherine Scott reports.

The doting dad of a premature baby girl who was born weighing just 2lb 8oz is urging people to sign up early for the Sheffield 10k to raise funds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

James Taylor, 30 from Eyam, raised more than £3,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Jessop Wing, to thank staff for providing his daughter, Grace, with exceptional care from a difficult start in the world.

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“I remember seeing Grace when she was 12 minutes old, after the doctors had managed to resuscitate her. She looked so fragile, yet I could see the fight on her face and her big beautiful eyes looking up at me.It was a fleeting moment before the doctors had to whisk her off for emergency care and at that point in all the chaos I was unsure whether either my wife Katie or Grace were going to survive.

“Katie had her own complications due to a placental abruption, which we believe was caused by undiagnosed pre-eclampsia. In bed one night, her waters broke without warning. The hospital kept her in on bed rest, hoping to wait as long as possible before delivery. But after a night of extensive bleeding, it was decided that Grace needed to be delivered immediately by emergency caesarean section. Grace required resuscitation as a result of her oxygen supply being cut off because of the abruption. She was taken to NICU for immediate emergency care.

“We were also offered on-site accommodation at the critical times that we needed it. Removing these more immaterial pressures seems small to think of now, but it all adds up and makes a difference.

“All told, it’s a time we would very much like to forget, but have fond memories of things like our nurses singing gospel hymns and meeting other parents to share our experiences, which made the time bearable.”

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Grace is now more than four months old and came off oxygen about three weeks ago. She is still classed as having chronic lung disease, but is doing well, weighing more than 8lbs.

“With the help of NICU and their incredible medical staff, Grace has gone on to battle her way through countless challenges, already showing incredible strength for such a little lady,” says James. “We wanted to do some fundraising in order to do something to show our appreciation and raise awareness of the amazing work that goes on to help so many families.”

To sign up for Sheffield 10k on September 24 call 0114 271 1351, or email [email protected].