New York challenge to help Doncaster baby unit

The fantastic hospital care that saw an Auckley couple's very premature twins survive and thrive despite initial difficulties, has spurred three men on to a gruelling challenge to help fund neo-natal baby care.

Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:06 pm
Grace and Ruby Atkinson of Auckley were premature twins

Two Sheffield men and one from Doncaster will fly out to run the New York Marathon on November 6 . Their aim will be to raise cash for specialist equipment to help babies in their first weeks of life.

Tiny twins Ruby and Grace spent eight weeks in Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Neo Natal Unit after they entered the world at 28 weeks weighing just one pound nine ounces and one pound seven ounces respectively.

It was a tense time for new parents Louise and Rob Atkinson, who have businesses in Tickhill and Bawtry. But with the consistent medical expertise, help and support from the Doncaster unit’s team, they were eventually able to take their babies home.

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Louise said: “The twins being born at 28 weeks was a shock and we were very under prepared for their early entrance. But from the birth of the girls the neonatal staff were amazing.”

She continued: “Fortunately, 17 months later the girls are going from strength to strength, and this is, I believe, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the doctors and nurses on the neo natal unit.”

The three men who will run to fundraise for equipment the neo-natal unit has desperate need of, are brothers Ben and Adam Ainger, and Adam’s friend Gaz Hobbin.

Ben, the twins’ godfather, is from Cantley, and Adam and Gaz live in Sheffield.

Adam is something of an old hand at marathon running; he has already raised staggering amounts for charity - over £30,000 for the Sheffield Childrens Hospital by running the Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, London and Chicago marathons, and another £28,000 for other charities needing support.

New York on November 6 will be his last marathon, he said, and will benefit both the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the neo-natal ward at DRI.

Rob and Louise are extremely grateful for the ongoing care their family received at Doncaster.

They said: “It was not only in looking after the babies, but supporting parents and families who were on the ward.

“They thoroughly explain all the procedures to you but are realistic, explaining what could go wrong during the early weeks of the babies’ lives.

“From being so tiny, Ruby and Grace are now thriving and this would not be the case had they not had such special care from staff in their early weeks.

“ We cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough for the effort and expertise tha they continually give out to newborns and their families in DRI’s neonatal unit.”

Sponsorship for the trio’s big run is already well over the £1500 mark.

To give the men, and care of new born babies, your support visit: