Bidding to help babies like Ethan

BABY Ethan Hearne s fight for life captured the hearts of bidders battling it out to raise money during a charity auction. Over £6,250 was raised at the event at the Red Lion pub in Preston on Saturday when over £1,000 worth of raffle tickets alone were s

BABY Ethan Hearne's fight for life captured the hearts of bidders battling it out to raise money during a charity auction.

Over £6,250 was raised at the event at the Red Lion pub in Preston on Saturday when over £1,000 worth of raffle tickets alone were sold for enhance herts' Building Blocks appeal for children and baby services at Lister Hospital.

Proud parents Greig, 34, and Debbie, 40, of Grays Lane, Hitchin, wanted to give something back after Ethan's premature birth difficulties and the care he received at the hands of hospital staff.

Debbie said: "It was a very successful night. Even Dr Kefas, Ethan's paediatric consultant from Lister Hospital came down which was amazing considering he must see thousands of babies. Some members of staff also joined in, they are so dedicated."


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Debbie said Ethan was rolling over, sitting up and eating lumpy food for the first time and is barely recognisable from the tiny baby in the hospital incubator.

She said: "The incubator Ethan was in cost £30,000. It costs £1,000 every day a baby stays in the unit and he was in there for 70 days, but you can't put a price on a child's life."

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Ethan was born in March after Debbie had a biopsy at 29 weeks during a cancer scare. He spent the first three months of his life in the unit where he suffered with pneumonia, a lung infection, an eye disease and also had a blood transfusion.

He is now healthy apart from suffering occasionally from eye problems and asthma.

Greig said: "A huge thank you to everyone who turned up, to those who sponsored the various people and to the three car dealers who donated the excellent cars for the auction who must also get a mention."

Audi were the first to offer a prize for the cause and local dealers of BMW and Mercedes also joined in by donating cars for the weekend.

Football memorabilia ranged from Aston Villa tickets to a signed Arsenal hand and other prizes up for auction included a Toni & Guy cut and blow dry, £70 worth of hair products from Hitchin's Hair by Allan and England fast bowler Mark Illott's Essex county shirt.

It wasn't just purses that were left bare, but the legs and heads of the family friends who agreed to have their legs waxed or goatees shaved on the day, led by Greig who had his head shaved for the cause.

East and North Hertfordshire Trust's chief executive Nick Carver said: "We're delighted that Greig and his family have put so much time into raising money to enhance the Trust's special care baby service.

"The £5,000 will help us to make sure that babies like Ethan will continue to get the help they need to give them the best possible start in life. We're always happy to help people like Greig who wish to raise funds for us."

There will be a formal presentation of the cheque at the Lister special care baby unit's Christmas party on Saturday. The family have discussed the possibility of holding another event next summer. Ideas include a barbecue or a cricket match at Preston village.

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