A BOROUGH man is aiming to raise £5,000 for the charity which supported him and his wife after their son was born nine weeks early
Knowle dad Nigel Allen is limbering up to run the London Marathon in aid of Tommy’s - which funds research into complications during pregnancy.
The organisation supported Nigel, and his wife Jodie, after their second son Noah was born at just 31 weeks in June last year.
He had to be delivered early - weighing only 2lb 6oz - after staff realised he had stopped growing in the womb.
According to Tommy’s around seven per cent of babies, approximately 50,000 a year, are born prematurely.
“Nothing can compare you for those weeks in a neo-natal unit,” said Nigel, aged 37. “Machines beeping, alarms going off, doctors running around...
“And everyday being grateful that it’s not you that has been given some devastating news about their child.”
Little Noah has battled a number of infections, hernias, tongue-tie and eye problems and his anxious patients had to wait 50 days for him to be released from Heartlands Hospital.
But over eight months on he’s doing well and, crucially, gaining weight. He still needs regular check-ups, but is now living at home with his mum, dad and older brother Joseph, aged seven.
But Nigel, a vice chairman of Knowle and Dorridge Cricket Club, said nothing could have prepared the family for their ordeal last summer.
“It was horrible and you never think it’s going to happen to you,” he said. “But we know that we’ve been very lucky, there are people in the same position whose children are still on oxygen or have had to have organ transplants.
“Noah has escaped relatively unscathed. It’s amazing how all the problems evaporate when he gives you that first big smile.”
The finance director will be running the marathon on April 21, with several fundraising events taking place in the meanwhile.
On March 9, a Nearly New Sale will take place at the Knowle and Dorridge Cricket Club from 9.30-11.30am. Entry is £1. Call 01564 777515 or email Tommysnns@gmail.com for a stall.
And on March 28 there will be a ‘Meet the Brewer’ night at the same venue, starting at 8.15pm. Tickets £5 each.
You can also sponsor Nigel at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NigelAllen