My wife, Estella and I became aware of Tiny Lives Trust when our twin daughters Erin and Ellie-Mae were born 12 weeks prematurely. Both Erin and Ellie-Mae were diagnosed with life-threatening bowel condition, Necrotising Enterocolitis and at just two weeks old Ellie-Mae lost her battle and sadly passed away. Erin was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle for specialist treatment where she had an operation to remove part of her bowel and had a stoma fitted until she grew strong enough to have her bowel reattached.
The doctors and nurses based in ward 35, Special Care Baby Unit of the Newcastle Neonatal Service, at the RVI were all fantastic, Erin survived because of these fabulous people and this immense charity, the work and effort that they do is truly outstanding. From everyone at the forefront on the ward, to the people that you don’t see, the ones sat behind the scenes in the office.
Because of all of the support that we received, the care and attention that Erin had and how wonderful everyone was with our eldest daughter Ruby, I wanted to give something back. So what better way to do this than to put myself out of my comfort zone and do something totally crazy. So I put myself to the test on the 28th September by taking part in a Spartan Sprint, which took place in Ripon Yorkshire, a gruelling five kilometre obstacle race, which guarantees barbed wire, water, fire and lots of mud, and it lived up to it, it’s a race of pure primitive madness. I didn’t do this alone as I managed to rope in very close friends to take part in the challenge too. Erin’s Godfather David Armstrong, South Shields, a close friend from school days Oivind Aas, Haddington Scotland, and a colleague and very good friend Leigh Haley, Wallasey Merseyside. We all did our part in raising money for the event and entered as a team, Erin’s Heroes. This is something none of us have ever done before, so it was a huge personal challenge for us and just a way for me to say thank you to Tiny Lives for all they have done for Erin and my family.
This is an amazing charity that do so much for premature and sick new born babies and their families, we cannot thank you all enough for all that you have done for us. I just hope that we have done something to help so that other families might not have to go through what Estella and I have.
Once again many thanks to everyone involved with Tiny Lives, and a special thank you to the team, Erin’s Heroes, David Armstrong, Leigh Haley and Oivind Aas.
Iain going full steam ahead