When baby Austin was born 12 weeks prematurely on September 3 with a perforated stomach, it meant weeks of treatment at Addenbrooke’s.
And his parents Leah Kendle, 35 and Lewis Pittman, 34, faced travelling back and forth from their home in Bradshaw Close, Stamford, to the Cambridge hospital every day for several weeks while their five-week old baby recovered from surgery.
But thanks to the Sick Children’s Trust, the couple were able to get free accommodation close to where their baby was being cared for.
The help the couple received from the charity so touched the Stamford Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) where Austin’s dad, account manager Lewis, used to be a member, that they decided to raise funds for the Trust.
Through a series of events including a raffle and a 3.5-mile run around Stamford, to represent the 3,500 families that are provided with a ‘Home from Home’ while their ailing children stay in hospital, Stamford ABC raised £442.
Catherine Green, the club’s head coach said: “The charity was such help for our friends that we thought we would do something in return.
“As a club we know how hard it is to raise funds so we wanted to do our bit.”
Leah said: “When Austin was transferred from Peterborough City Hospital to Addenbrooke’s for surgery we went down to Cambridge, but had nowhere to stay.
“The Sick Children’s Trust gave us a room where we stayed for nearly six weeks.
“The support we got was amazing. The room which we were given had a shared kitchen, a washing machine and all the necessary facilities.
It gave us time out. We were by the incubator all day, and this gave us a chance to recharge our batteries.
“We were able to get some sleep and be close to our baby which we would not have been able to do if we had to travel back and forth everyday.”
Austin, who is now six months old, has had the ‘all clear’ from the hospital and is “coming along nicely”.
His mum and dad say they are very grateful to Stamford ABC who went out of their way to raise money for a charity that was a lifeline for them when they needed it most.
“The club has been very supportive,” said Leah. “It’s really nice that we can give something back to the charity.”
For details go to www.sickchildrenstrust.org