Madchester legend Clint Boon has spoken of his pride after a fund launched by his six-year-old son in memory of his tragic baby sister topped £25,000.
The astonishing sum will ensure the name of Luna Bliss Boon lives on for ever – in the form of a play zone called ‘Luna Land’ at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester.
Luna Bliss, who was born at 27 weeks, lost her 34-day fight for survival at the hospital last April. She was being treated for an underlying health condition in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Luna’s sad death prompted her big brother Hector to do his bit to help other premature babies and their mums by fundraising for the unit.
He raised money by having his first ever haircut – attracting huge sums in sponsorship.
The original idea was to raise enough cash for special nursing chairs for breastfeeding mums.
In fact, the appeal has peaked at £25,606 – enough for 10 of the chairs and also the new ‘Luna Land’ play and area. It is designed to provide something to do for the brothers and sisters of sick children and premature babies delivered at St Mary’s on Oxford Road in Manchester.
The chairs are due to be delivered in the next few weeks.
Writing on Twitter Clint, 52, the keyboard player in Manchester band the Inspiral Carpets and a popular radio DJ on Xfm, said: “Thanks to each and every person who has donated to the fund. Me and Mrs Boon are eternally grateful. The hospital will receive 10 special nursing chairs in the next few weeks.
“They have been bought with some of the money Hector raised. We are all immensely proud of him. The rest will be going towards the play area, which we will call Luna Land.”
Clint and his wife Charlie, who live in Stockport, spoke movingly of their heartache following the death of baby Luna. They had been keeping a vigil at the little girl’s side when she died.
The couple received hundreds of messages of support from around the country, with pop star Lily Allen and Stone Roses bassist Mani among those to make donations.
Hospital chiefs praised Hector for his efforts.
St Mary’s acting head of charities, Toni Leden, said: “The way the Boon family have channelled their grief at the loss of baby Luna into something so positive is truly overwhelming.
“From Hector’s personal fundraising efforts through to the way in which Clint has galvanised both the local and the music communities to raise money is remarkable and inspiring. We are tremendously grateful to the whole family for their ongoing support.”