Sporting stars have teamed up to help the parents of a premature baby girl raise money for a South Yorkshire charity.
Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny, and football stars Cyrus Christie and Michael Carrick, were among the host of athletes that donated signed shirts, boots and match tickets for an auction, in aid of Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
The auction was organised by Jenni and Gary Webb, of Rotherham, whose daughter Lydia spent the first 11 weeks of her life being cared for by dedicated nurses and doctors on the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit, after she was born at 29 weeks last August. She suffered a collapsed lung and anaemia, which required round the clock care.
Jenni, aged 31, a cancer nurse specialist, said: “It was daunting leaving Lydia but comforting knowing she was at Rotherham Hospital, so close to home. The way they care for babies and their families is phenomenal and we wanted to give something back to show the hospital and my colleagues how much we appreciate them.”
The couple has already raised £8,500, which has enabled the Special Care Baby Unit to purchase three electric breast pumps, which allow mums to express milk more quickly. The money also funded two High Flow machines, which help premature babies breathe more easily by reducing the pressure on their tiny lungs.
Gary, also 31, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have funded this equipment and hope that gives other babies the same opportunities and care Lydia received. We wanted to give something back to the staff who worked tirelessly to care for Lydia. “