Beautiful dresses are to get a second airing at ball to say thanks

Helen Tucker with her wedding dress that she will be wearing on the night and her son Benjamin. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142611-6930)
Helen Tucker with her wedding dress that she will be wearing on the night and her son Benjamin. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142611-6930)
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GRATEFUL mum Helen Tucker is saying thanks to the hospital ward that saved her baby’s life by holding a charity ball with a twist.

The thankful lady is organising a ball where woman get to wear the most beautiful dress they have ever put on – for the second time.

Mrs Tucker said: ‘Every woman has a dress that they have worn once and just haven’t ever found an occasion to wear it again – a wedding dress, cocktail dress, prom dress, even that amazing ra-ra dress from the 80s, any dress is welcome at the ball.

‘Even guys are welcome to wear a dress otherwise black tie will do just fine. I’ll be wearing my wedding dress and probably looking stressed.’

Mrs Tucker was inspired to put on the night to raise money for the Ocean Ward in Southampton General Hospital after it saved her son’s life when in November 2012, baby Benjamin was born three weeks early weighing 5lb.

She said: ‘My husband Adrian and I were about to take him home when the doctor doing the final check uttered the terrible words “there is something wrong with Benjamin’s heart”.

‘The rest of that day and the next few days were a blur of tests, wires, tubes, and finally after scans and consultants, we were told Benjamin had a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallots.’

This condition meant Benjamin had to have open heart surgery when he was five months old.

Mrs Tucker, of Red Oak Drive, Park Gate, said: ‘It was the longest day of our lives. The surgery was extremely successful and after 24 hours he left intensive care.

‘Benjamin was on Ocean ward for a week, which considering the complex nature of his surgery was an extremely short stay.

‘We were put in contact with the charity Families of Ocean Ward which has been and still is an incredible lifeline for Adrian and me.’

The charity, which is run by volunteer parents of children with congenital heart defects, supported Mr and Mrs Tucker and now Benjamin is two years old and healthy, Mrs Tucker wanted to put on an event that would go some way in paying back the charity for the invaluable help it gave.

After talking to her friends, she came up with the idea of holding the ball, which she intends to wear her wedding dress to.

Although tickets have sold out to the night at the Holiday Inn in Fareham on Saturday, October 11, Mrs Tucker still needs raffle prizes.

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