A Cookstown family have raised £7995 for the Neonatal unit at Antrim Area Hospital in memory of their son, who died just four days after birth.
Charlie Ferson, was born on August 24th last year but due to complications after his birth Charlie become seriously ill and was admitted to Antrim Area Hospital Neonatal Unit.
Charlie’s parents Amy and Adrian have spoken of how staff at the neonatal unit became like a ‘second family’ to their son during his time in their care.
Amy told the MAIL: “During this time Charlie received an outstanding level of care from both medical and nursing staff, and was treated with nothing but love, gentleness and dignity.
They became his second family and they supported us as parents in a way that words can’t even describe. It is for all these reasons that we will be forever grateful to them.”
In memory of Charlie and in order to show their gratitude to the Neonatal Unit, Adrian (Charlie’s daddy) and Iain McKenzie (Charlie’s uncle) decided to run the Belfast Marathon on 5th May of this year, to raise funds for the unit.
This was Adrian’s second marathon and Iain’s first. They put their heart and soul into training for it and their performance on the day showed that. Adrian finished with a time of 3:41:09 and Iain with a time of 4:16:28. Amy Ferson (Charlie’s mummy) also ran in a team relay with a few close friends – Shelley Bolton, Lisa McManus, Kerri Scott and Denise Walker. The team name was Charlie’s Angels.
The total amount raised from the marathon was an astounding £5065. Donations in lieu of flowers were also made to the Neonatal unit amounting to £2890, giving a grand total of £7995.
Amy, Adrian and Iain along with Charlie’s grandparents would like to say a sincere thank you to each and every person who supported them and donated to this amazing cause.
They said: “We would like to say a special thank you to Lynn Stewart who also donated a range of knitted cardigans and blankets to the unit.
“There are no words to express our gratitude and we are totally blown away by the response. This has been such a difficult year for us but it has given us great comfort to know that Charlie’s life has made such a difference and something positive has come out of this nightmare situation.
“We only hope that the money raised will benefit other babies and their families in a similar situation to ours.”