Climbing high for the New Life Appeal

A COUPLE who have never forgotten the fantastic care given to their baby at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are tackling the Three Peaks Challenge next month to raise money for the New Life Appeal. Claire and Eamon Nicholson-Clinch will be climbing three mounta

A COUPLE who have never forgotten the "fantastic" care given to their baby at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are tackling the Three Peaks Challenge next month to raise money for the New Life Appeal.

Claire and Eamon Nicholson-Clinch will be climbing three mountains in 24-hours in a sponsored challenge to raise money for the special care baby unit at the Huntingdon hospital.

Their daughter Freya was treated at Hinchingbrooke six years ago, but the family are still so grateful to the unit that each year on Freya's birthday they give the hospital a donation.

Mrs Nicholson-Clinch, 31, told The Hunts Post: "Freya was born eight weeks early. She weighed three and a half pounds and she was in special care for five and a half weeks.


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"The staff were fantastic. Freya had breathing problems and jaundice and they looked after her and us going above and beyond duty."

"A week before we left, the staff even booked us a table at a restaurant as a surprise for me and my husband."

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She added: "At Hinchingbrooke there is a room where mothers can stay next to their babies and even a room where dads can stay so that you can be a family.

"We had fantastic one-to-one care. I was taught how to feed Freya by tube and give her vitamins and do things that the staff would normally do so that I would feel like a mother.

"They even have prams so that when the baby is not well enough to leave the hospital but can leave the unit, you can take the baby to the café and back. After we went home, a nurse came to see me for two months to make sure that everything was alright and I was able to phone them at any time.

The couple now have two children - Oliver, four, was fortunately born full term.

However, Mrs Nicholson-Clinch says she had even more reasons to be grateful to the hospital six years later when her sister, Sarah, gave birth to her son Ellis eight weeks early and was also treated in SCBU.

"I went to visit my sister and Ellis and two of the staff were still there and said hello and how was Freya."

The Three-Peaks Challenge takes place on Wednesday, May 28. Participants have to climb the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon - in 24-hours.

Mr and Mrs Nicholson-Clinch climbed Scafell in 1999 after they were engaged, but this will be the first time they have completed the challenge. The couple will be joined by other parents at Roxton School where Freya and Oliver are pupils.

The team has been given free training sessions at Harpers Gym, based at Wyboston Lakes.

INFORMATION: To support Claire and Eamon Nicholson-Clinch's efforts for the special care baby unit at Hinchingbrooke, send a cheque to T131 (The SCBU bank account) to Claire Nicholson-Clinch, 7 Saxon Close, Roxton, MK44 3EP or to the New Life Appeal, The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.

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