Parents step out for 100ft charity abseil ‘thank you’ to Oxford's John Radcliffe hospital

Julie and Drew Brown hold their 14-week-old twin daughters Beaux, left, and Scarlett, right, at their home. The couple are doing an abseil to raise money for the hospital that saved their daughters, who were born at just 26 weeks     Picture: OX67729

Julie and Drew Brown hold their 14-week-old twin daughters Beaux, left, and Scarlett, right, at their home. The couple are doing an abseil to raise money for the hospital that saved their daughters, who were born at just 26 weeks Picture: OX67729 Buy this photo

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

PARENTS of premature twins are abseiling down Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital to raise money for the unit that “saved” their girls.

Beaux and Scarlett Brown weighed only 2lb each – about the same as a bag of sugar – when they were born at just 26 weeks.

The tiny pair had to spend 10 weeks in hospital, including five in intensive care, as doctors battled to get them to a healthy weight.

Parents Julie and Drew Brown could only watch as their longed-for babies fought against heart murmours and breathing difficulties.

But now – aged 14 weeks – Beaux has hit a healthy 7lbs exactly and Scarlett is not far behind at 6lb 7oz.

Mr and Mrs Brown will now abseil down the JR to raise vital funds for the special care baby unit that cared for their for the twins.

Mrs Brown, 44, of Steeple Aston, said: “Beaux had an infection in her amniotic fluid and it made the bag around her rupture, so my waters broke unexpectedly.

“We went to the Horton Hospital in Banbury and we were told that the babies had to come. Because they were only 26 weeks we had to be transferred to the John Radcliffe.

“It was horrendous. It was obviously very stressful, because we didn’t know if they would be okay and what would happen.

“We’re doing the abseil because we want to get more involved in fundraising. Having had a personal experience that’s touched our lives, we wanted to get involved.

“We’ll never forget the team and what they did. I can’t praise them enough. I just want to give back and repay them in some small way. We’ll never be able to repay the debt. They saved our girls.”

Mr and Mrs Brown had been trying for several years before Mrs Brown fell pregnant with the twins.

On Sunday, March 1, Mrs Brown had a Cesarean section and the twins were rushed to intensive care, weighing just 2lb each.

She said: “They went straight into the ICU for five weeks, and then it was a long journey of one baby following the other through the different units until it was safe for them to come home.”

The twins were in the JR’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit, and then moved through the High Dependency and Low Dependency units in Oxford before going to the Horton’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Cosmetics sales manager Mrs Brown, who also has a 22-year-old son, Arron Bennett, said: “They were in hospital for 10 weeks and they came home on May 9.

“Now they have nothing seriously wrong with them, they’re perfectly formed – just small. Initially they did have issues with breathing and heart murmurs.

“They both had a couple of infections and had to have blood transfusions, but they’re both perfectly healthy now – touch wood.”

Both Mrs Brown and her 42-year-old husband, who is an operations director for Whitbread, will abseil 100 feet down the side of the JR to raise money for the hospitals through sponsorship.

The abseil takes place on Sunday and supports causes across the trust’s hospitals including the baby units, the Cancer Care Fund and the Blood Coagulation Research Fund.

Hospital fundraiser Sarah Vaccari said: “We are always so grateful to all those from the local community who show such tremendous generosity for all the areas across the hospital. Our abseils are great fun and raise thousands for these important local causes.”

There are still places available for the adults-only abseil, which costs £10 to enter.

 

 

 

 

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