Inspired by a brave Tyneside tot, commercial property solicitor, Giles McCourt, is raising money to help the region’s sick and premature babies.
Giles has experienced first-hand the exceptional work of staff on the Special Care Baby Unit at Newcastle’s RVI. Not only has his wife Veronica worked as a sister on the unit for 14 years, but sadly in November 2013 the couple’s daughter, Eleanor, was born prematurely at 23 weeks, and doctors were unable to save her.
It was also the moving story of Edith McCloud and her amazing journey of recovery following her birth at 27 weeks that led to him deciding to take part in the Great North Run for the Tiny Lives Trust, the charity that supports the work of the unit.
Giles and Veronica, who was at Edith’s birth, met up with Edith and her mum Sharon at the Buddy Group that Sharon runs in South Tyneside and provides a network of support for premature babies and their families from across the North East.
Giles has also recently been appointed a trustee of Tiny Lives. He said: “Tiny Lives has always been a charity that has meant a lot to me, but no more so than in the last two years. In November 2013 Eleanor was born prematurely at 22 weeks, sadly she did not survive. The support, care and compassion of the team at the RVI was nothing short of remarkable.
“Tiny Lives also fund items such as memory boxes that help families through this difficult time. I cannot begin to explain how important Tiny Lives and Ward 35 are to the babies they help.”
Giles and Veronica also brought along their nine month old twins Harriet and Toby to the Buddy Group birthday party. Giles added: “Edith’s story for me was particularly poignant for me as she was the size of a 23 week old baby when she was born at 27 weeks, which was the same age as Eleanor.
“It was lovely to meet her and see how well she is doing, she is a real live wire, so full of energy and great example of why the work of the unit is so important.”