Battling baby Crosby back to fitness

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A DETERMINED dad has raised £8,000 pounds for a hospital which helped save his baby’s life.

Crosby Drummond battled against the odds to survive a serious illness he contracted just four days after being born prematurely.

The tiny fighter fought through operations, procedures and an episode of seizures before finally being allowed home for good at the age of six months.

Crosby – who has just celebrated his first birthday – is now a healthy weight and the long-term prognosis is good.

To show his appreciation, dad Andrew Drummond completed the Three Peaks challenge – scaling the three highest peaks in Britain, which are Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon alongside eight others.

He raised £8,000 for three wards at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), in Newcastle, which helped care for Crosby.

Andrew, 34, of the town’s Ellison Street, said: “We are in awe of the staff at the RVI, they have been first class.

“It is difficult to put into words, but without them Crosby probably wouldn’t be here.

“It is as simple as that.”

Crosby was born early weighing just 3lb 10oz to the utter joy of Andrew and his wife Jill Drummond, 34.

But their happiness turned to horror four days later when medics diagnosed Crosby with a condition called Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC).

NEC mostly affects premature babies and causes tissues in the intestine to become inflamed and die.

Jill, who works as a manager at a dental practice, went into labour with Crosby at 26 weeks, but medics successfully stalled the birth with a cervical stitch.

Despite that he was born eight-weeks premature on December 27, last year, weighing just 3lb 10oz.

Days later he was diagnosed with NEC, which inflamed and infected his bowel and led to an infection in his blood.

He was transferred to the RVI and treated with different antibiotics.

The illness had damaged parts of the bowel and he needed an operation to remove three sections of the small intestine, which was carried out at the start of February.

Crosby then developed problems with the joins and had to go under the surgeon’s knife for an ileostomy, to create a stoma bag for waste, in order to allow the bowel to heal.

That was in place for 10 weeks and the youngster appeared to improve and started feeding again.

But there was a further setback when he started having seizures.

The family went home for a couple of weeks in late April, but returned for a further eight weeks while he was fed intravenously.

An intolerance of cow’s milk – which he still has – further complicated his recovery, but he finally returned home in July.

Five months on and the youngster now weighs 14lbs 14oz.

Andrew, a self-employed training consultant whose brother Stuart is Mayor of Hartlepool, added: “Crosby is doing really well.

“We had a fantastic Christmas and Crosby really enjoyed his birthday.

“It has come full circle and despite the usual childhood bugs he is a happy little boy.

“We are very lucky.”

The youngster, who has three-monthly check ups at the RVI to monitor his weight and development, is now almost walking.

Andrew raised the money by joining forces with a team from Hartlepool Mind to tackle the Three Peaks challenge within 29 hours.

He originally set a target of £2,500, but raised just over £8,000.

The Tiny Lives specialist baby unit has received £6,125, the children’s intensive care unit £885 and the surgical ward £1,000.

Andrew, who said there was a real “sense of achievement” at the finish, said: “I was overwhelmed by the response.

“As soon as the message got out the money started coming in really quickly.

“The sentiment that came with the donations was greatly appreciated too.

“Giving something back was the mission so that other families can continue to benefit from the excellent work the RVI does.”