An Aberdeen family are taking on 5k a day challenge in January to raise money for the neonatal unit to thank staff who cared for their baby boy.
Jonny Mclaren and Ashleigh Duncan’s son Wren was born on December 5 by emergency C-section.
He had difficulty breathing and was later discovered to have a pneumothorax, an air leak, which causes an abnormal collection of air in the space between the lung and chest wall.
He was cared for by nenatal staff at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital for the first four days of his life.
Wren, who also has a big brother Joss, 7, is now back home with his family.
Now, the family, from Hazlehead, hope to give back to the unit through taking on their challenge this month.
Jonny, 37, said: “Ashleigh was two weeks early, when her waters broke she tried to give birth naturally but it wasn’t happening and his heart rate was starting to drop, so she had to have an emergency C-section.
“When Wren was born he was put onto oxygen and taken into ICU.
“We didn’t know that there was anything wrong before, so it was a massive shock to us.
“They chopped and changed oxygen levels, and managed to get away with not having to do invasive surgery.
“The staff were amazing, especially as they were tackling everything with Covid-19 going on.
“They were all in PPE going about the ward, and they were so helpful and amazing.
“Wren was only in for four days, but there were other babies there who had been born prematurely, and I can’t sing my praises enough for them.”
Ashleigh, 28, added: “During this time, the nurses, midwives, consultants, doctors etc, could not have done more for our son.
“We are truly enamored at the hard work each and every person demonstrated – from nursing Wren to supporting me with feeding and reassuring us during those four days where the beginning was pretty uncertain.
“Jonny and I wish to give back to everyone who helped our son get well again and raise money by running 5k every day in January.”
Jonny and Ashleigh had already planned to become more active in January, but decided to turn it into a fundraising challenge to benefit the ward that had supported their son.
The pair will be walking and running 5k a day throughout January, and have launched a Just Giving page for anyone who would like to help them donate to the unit.
Originally starting with a target of £250, they have already raised more than £1,500.
Jonny said: “We were going to be losing weight anyway, so we said why don’t we do it for the ward and raise some money.
“Ashleigh will just be walking hers, as she’s not long given birth, and I’ll be trying to run mine. I’ve got a treadmill in the garage that I’ve been running on.
“We’ve got quite a lot of money so far, the support has been amazing.
“We set a target of £250 and didn’t expect to get nearly as much as we have so far.
“But it’s for a good cause, it’s going to the ward, it’s not going to us.”
The pair have also thanked the Aberdeen Fitness and Combat Centre, and the Bearded Villains Scotland group for their support with the initiative.
All of the money raised is to be donated directly to the neonatal unit once the fundraiser is finished at the end of January.
Anyone who would like to donate to the online fundraiser can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ashleigh-duncan-3