Parents raise £32,000 for Queen Alexandra Hospital unit in memory of their son

AMAZED Lorraine Blackburn, left, and her sister Kerry Emms lead a walk in aid of the neo-natal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Lorraine's son, Owen, pictured on her T-shirt, was treated at the unit.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120771-1)
AMAZED Lorraine Blackburn, left, and her sister Kerry Emms lead a walk in aid of the neo-natal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Lorraine's son, Owen, pictured on her T-shirt, was treated at the unit. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120771-1)
Janine Andrade,  Siobhan Edwards-Bannon and Zoe Boxhall with the pupils learning about the human skeleton .
Picture : Habibur Rahman (171637-3)

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THE money raised went above and beyond even their wildest expectations.

Parents Chris and Lorraine Blackburn hoped a charity walk would collect £25,000 for the neo-natal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, in memory of their three-month-old son Owen.

But the couple of Gordon Road, Waterlooville, were astounded to see the final sum stand at £32,000.

The money will be used to buy a ventilator and phototherapy lights.

Lorraine, 29, said: ‘That is above and beyond what we thought we could achieve.

‘We had set ourselves a target of £25,000.

‘As well as the ventilator we’ll also be getting a phototherapy light.’

Around 120 people took part in the 20-mile walk to and from QA hospital on Saturday.

Walkers were wearing blue Ickle Pickle T-shirts – in support of a neo-natal charity.

‘We got a lot of attention as people could see a sea of blue coming their way,’ added Lorraine.

‘The atmosphere was amazing and it helped people to keep going. Bucket collections on the way raised £440.’

Owen was the first baby to stay at the then newly-opened centre in June 2009 at 26 weeks old. He weighed1lb 10oz.

Owen was transferred to two Southampton hospitals, to be treated for an eye disease and artery problems, but died in September 2009.

Lorraine and Chris have been grateful to QA for giving her and her husband three precious months with their son.

Lesley Coles, head of nursing for women and children at QA, said: ‘We’re extremely grateful for the hard work put into organising this event.

‘Owen was the first baby to be admitted into our new unit and since then the relationship with Lorraine and Chris has grown. They have raised funds endlessly for us and have motivated so many others.

‘All the staff admire them and send a huge thank you and best wishes from the neo-natal team.’

To donate money text ICKL35 and the amount to 70070.

Or you can also email lorraine@icklepickles.org.