INSPIRATIONAL dad of premature baby turns once in a lifetime birthday present in to a fundraiser for the Neoangels Charity.
Aaron Hamilton, 20, from Yarm, will be doing a 10,000ft sky dive to raise money for the Neoangels charity which supports the Neonatal Unit and its families at the University Hospital of North Tees, after his son Harry was cared for on the Unit.
Harry, who was born at 34 weeks and weighed a tiny 3lb 8oz spent 17 days on the specialist ward back in May.
Now, proud parents Sophie, also 20 from Yarm, and Aaron want to give back to the Neonatal Unit which offered exceptional care for their family.
Sophie had an incredibly turbulent pregnancy as she suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a pregnancy complication that is characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration and affects 1 in 100 pregnant women.
With her first admission to hospital at just six weeks in to her pregnancy, Sophie went on to have 26 admissions and the decision to have Harry early was made at 34 weeks after it was discovered at her 20-week scan that he wasn’t growing as well as he should have been.
Sophie said: “The plan was to induce me, and my Consultant told me to be prepared for how small Harry would be and that he would most likely need to be on oxygen.
“I was taken for a tour of the Neonatal Unit and the following morning my waters went and I went in to labour naturally – it was as if he knew he was going to arrive anyway!
“When Harry was born I didn’t get to see him, he was whisked to the Neonatal Unit immediately and placed in the High Dependency Unit.
“After a few hours, we were taken to see him and Aaron and I were both just incredibly shocked. He had cannulas in and an NG Tube to help him feed. I burst in to tears and cried. I was so devastated for him and I felt incredibly guilty and wish I could have kept him in for longer.
“All I wanted to do was cuddle him straight away but I couldn’t.”
The doting parents were by Harry’s side for the next 17 days while he stayed on the Neonatal Unit to be treated for Jaundice and whilst he gained weight.
Aaron said: “It was really hard to see him at first, but he progressed really quickly and was moved to the Nursery after half an hour of being in High Dependency.
“We just had to get on, but he was totally perfect in every way.”
It was during their journey that Sophie and Aaron not only received care for Harry but they as new parents were given tremendous emotional support during a very scary time for them from the staff on the Unit.
Sophie said: “The staff were so supportive to me during our stay. Harry is our first baby together and I didn’t expect that us as parents would be cared for as well as our little boy.
“They genuinely cared for us and made our time there really nice. They always asked after us as a family and asked how we were doing which made such a difference.”
Aaron added: “We cannot thank them enough for everything which is why I decided to use my sky dive to fundraise for Neoangels. The care the staff gave to Harry, Sophie and I was excellent.”
“I’ve never done anything like this before! I’m excited and a little bit nervous, 10,00ft is very high.”
Harry is now at home and thriving with his mum and dad and weighs an impressive 9lb 11oz at four months old.
Charity Trustee, Jodie Jenkins, said: “We are so incredibly proud of Aaron for his dedication to our Neonatal Unit. We’re very excited to hear all about his sky dive – we think his fundraising efforts are brilliant and any money raised will make such a difference.”
Aaron will be doing his sky dive on October 8th in Peterlee. You can sponsor his sky dive here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aaronhamilton2