Heysham couple raise more than £1,300 for Lancaster neonatal unit which cared for their premature son

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A Heysham couple have raised more than £1,300 to help the neonatal unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, which helped them and their son Archie after he was born premature last year.

Tom Barker and his wife Chantelle, who own Time for Flowers in Heysham Road, have been fundraising to buy new chairs for Lancaster Neonatal Unit, and last week handed over a cheque to staff.

Although Archie, who has chronic lung disease, spent his first nine weeks of life in Preston, he then spent a further 10 weeks in Lancaster until he was well enough to go home.

Tom said: “Archie was only 800g (1 pound 8 ounces) when he was born, but the expert care received from all of his nurses helped him gain weight and reduce his dependency on oxygen. So, we feel we are forever in their debt for saving our son.

“Through our business Time for Flowers we set up Archie’s Army; staff and customers have all pulled together to help us raise much needed funds for the neonatal department.

“We have run raffles and a family fun run and so far raised over £1,000. The unit is hoping to put the money towards some much needed new chairs which parents use at the cotside of their babies to feed and nurse them.

“We know just how important a comfy chair is when you are trying your best to block out the beeps and flashing lights and just want to cuddle your baby as if you were home.”

The couple also have a two-year-old son Reggie and a 21-year-old son Joe.