A children’s charity is urging Chichester residents to do something purple this November in support of its campaign to help save premature babies.
Elijah was born more than three months early, weighing just 823g – less than 2lbs.
Despite his early arrival, Elijah seemed to be doing well, but things changed suddenly when he contracted necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), a bowel condition which can strike premature and vulnerable babies with alarming speed.
Elijah sadly lost his fight for life at just 37 days old.
“Elijah led a very traumatic little life. He died sleeping on my chest in the small hours – that’s when I joined the fight to stop premature birth,” said Elijah’s mum, Jenny.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK and globally it’s the biggest killer of children under five.
Children’s charity Action Medical Research – which has its headquarters in Horsham – is fighting back.
“We know that by pushing for medical breakthroughs, we can save children’s lives,” said Sarah Moss, Communications Director at Action Medical Research.
“Parents. Children. Families. Communities. We’re all working together to raise £1 million by 2020 as part of our BORN TOO SOON campaign, to fund groundbreaking medical research that could go on to benefit millions.”
The UK charity is asking supporters to Go Purple in November in support of its BORN TOO SOON campaign.
Fundraise with your friends throughout the month and raise money to fund vital research that could help stop babies being born too soon.
High-profile supporters of the charity include Davina McCall, who is urging others to join the fight for little lives.
“This really is a cause close to my heart. My mum developed pre-eclampsia when she was expecting me, and I was born prematurely – I could so easily have not been here today if it wasn’t for medical advances. Premature birth is still the biggest killer of babies in the UK. So join me, and fight back,” she said.
The BORN TOO SOON campaign aims to shine a spotlight on the impact premature birth has on babies and their families and to help fund more research that can save lives.
"I've seen too many times the worry of a mother being rushed to hospital too soon – her baby being taken away to neonatal care. So tiny, so defenceless, so fragile," said Dr Joanna Cook from Imperial College London.
"Having a premature baby isn’t something that you expect to happen, but unfortunately this is the experience for more and more mums worldwide."
For more information go to www.action.org.uk/GoChichester.