THE story of a seven-month-old baby with a pacemaker and an artificial heart valve has touched the hearts of Hunts Post readers. All 60 staff at an insurance company in Godmanchester have said they will give their Christmas bonuses to help buy life-saving

NEW HOPE: Baby Bradley Spanton with his 
parents, Stephanie and Charlie.
Picture: HELEN DRAKE  2253

THE story of a seven-month-old baby with a pacemaker and an artificial heart valve has touched the hearts of Hunts Post readers.

All 60 staff at an insurance company in Godmanchester have said they will give their Christmas bonuses to help buy life-saving equipment for little Bradley Spanton from Sawtry. The company is also contributing.

Sue Hessom, general manager at Sureterm Direct said: "We decided to do this and a cheer went up from everyone because we all felt so good about it."

The idea came from managing director Andy Wood, who also lives in Sawtry and has a son, five-week-old William.

NEW HOPE: Baby Bradley Spanton with his 
parents, Stephanie and Charlie.
Picture: HELEN DRAKE  2253

Mr Wood said: "We are a young firm and a lot of us have young families and we realised how hard this would be if it was any one of us. People need as much support as they can get and we thought if we could help - that would be awesome."

Cheques and messages of support arrived at the paper within days after we published an appeal by Bradley's parents to raise the cash to buy him some life-saving equipment.

Mr Wood said his postman in Sawtry had drawn his attention to the front page of The Hunts Post with Bradley's picture.

As reported on December 19, Bradley has had four operations. He underwent his first operation when he was just seven weeks old and since then has been in and out of Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London.

Almost every day he is taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon to have his blood tested. This is necessary to make sure it does not clot, which could prove fatal as it would block his artificial valve.

The trips are said to be ­unsettling for Bradley and his mother Stephanie, who does not drive and has to rely on friends and family to ferry her and her baby to and from the hospital. Stephanie, 20, and her husband Charlie, 25, decided to publicise Bradley's story in The Hunts Post.

Bradley is their first baby. They launched the campaign to raise £7,000, the amount they thought they needed to buy an International Normalised Ratio (IRN) home blood-testing machine.

However, a spokesman for Great Ormond Street Hospital said that the machine could be supplied for much less, so the couple are even nearer their target.

Hearing that, Mr Wood said his company had been prepared to pay £7,000 for the machine and any money left over would be donated to the children's ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Bradley's mother, Stephanie, said: "It is very flattering that people have been so generous and we are thrilled that we are now able to buy one of these machines for Bradley.

"We were told the cost by someone at Hinchingbrooke - it must have been a guess. We are absolutely delighted by people's generosity. It's brilliant, it's really good. We want to thank everybody."

"If the money isn't needed for us, perhaps people might like to give donations instead to Great Ormond Street.

"There are so many other people in the same position as us, because their children are ill. So many families need things, not all of them big things.

"It is expensive for people just to travel to the hospital. The Sick Children's Trust has houses where people can stay. It's free for the families but the trust relies on donations and it is expensive to put people up every night."

Mrs Stanton said that Great Ormond Street had advised her to ask for training from Hinchingbrooke Hospital to use the machine.