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Demented Hamsters hold fundraising bike rally in aid of hospitals who cared for baby William
A MUM whose son has suffered serious health problems after he was born more than three months premature is raising funds for two of the hospitals which cared for him.
Joanna Chambers is the treasurer and one of the founders of local motorcycle group, the Demented Hamsters, which is holding a fundraising bike rally for Scarborough Special Care Baby Unit and James Cook University Hospital this weekend.
Joanna, from Marton, gave birth to William at James Cook University Hospital in October 2010 after a four-day labour. Weighing just 2lbs 8oz, William spent six weeks in the intensive care unit due to an open duct in his heart and chronic lung disease from having to use his lungs so early.
Joanne, who works for the adult learning service, said that as the hospital was a 50-minute drive from home, she was able to stay in a flat attached to the neonatal unit.
“This was difficult for everyone, but the support of other parents and the nurses and doctors meant he got as many cuddles and as much love as possible while he fought for his life,” she added.
“When William was almost two months old he was getting a lot better and moved to Scarborough Special Care Baby Unit where he continued to put on weight. He eventually came home just before Christmas – a month before his due date.”
However, Joanna said that William’s battle for life was far from over.
“Sadly, he then developed swine flu after three days at home and stopped breathing – I had to give him CPR – and he was returned to Scarborough Hospital where he was put on a ventilator and transferred to the nearest available intensive care bed in Sheffield Children’s Hospital,” she added.
“He was in intensive care there for a month and it was touch and go more than once, William suffered complications because his lung burst and he contracted the pseudomonas bacteria – which can cause meningitis – while he was ventilated.”
Joanna said that because his lungs were already damaged he became starved of oxygen and suffered extensive brain damage.
“The outlook was not good at this point and the doctors expected William to die when they took him off the ventilator and felt he should be allowed to go as he was facing blindness, deafness and severe learning difficulties and they thought he would need to be tube fed for the rest of his life,” she added.
“But William has been a fighter throughout his short life and he had other ideas.”
Joanna said William exceeded all expectations and within 24 hours of coming off the ventilator was on minimum oxygen support and tucking into a bottle of milk.
“He is now 19 months old and has Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, is partially sighted and is facing potential severe learning difficulties,” she said.
“However, at every stage, William has fought and shown such huge spirit – he is a happy, loving and content little boy who loves his food,” she added.
Joanna said part of William’s ability to cope had been because of the wonderful support he and their family received from the health professionals.
“We wanted to give something back and though William has been at four hospitals we wanted to keep the funds raised local to this area,” she added.
Joanna is the treasurer and one of the founders of The Demented Hamsters, which holds a weekend rally each year at the New Inn in Cropton.
This year’s rally is this weekend and will include live bands, a bike show, raffle and games with proceeds going to Scarborough Special Care Baby Unit and James Cook University Hospital.
There will also be a bike run on the Saturday morning from Cropton to Scarborough when members of the club will hand over donated toys to the hospital.
“Joanna said: “We hope people will come along and support the event so other children and their parents can benefit from the care and support they need so badly in a time of great turmoil.”
Tickets for the rally are £15 in advance and £10 on the door, available from H on 07760 482897, Dave on 07712 615923 or Iain on 07974 34462.