VIDEO: Daughter born three months early at St Richard's inspires her dad

When Lana was born she weighed barely more than a bag of flour and had to fight every single day to stay alive.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 3:40 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:35 am
Jon and Liz with their daughters Ailla and Lana, who are now both fully healthy. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Now 18 months later her dad is taking on his own huge challenge to raise money for the amazing NHS staff that saved her.

Both of Jon and Liz Malyon’s daughters were born premature and spent time at St Richard’s Hospital.

Jon, 37, said: “Our eldest, Ailla, was born at 32 weeks.

Jon and Liz with their daughters Ailla and Lana, who are now both fully healthy. Picture: Kate Shemilt

“Over the course of 48 hours Liz progressed into labour despite the doctors trying to buy some more time.

Ailla spent a month in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) after she was born in February 2015, but is now fully caught up with others her age.

Jon, who lives in Marcuse Fields, in Bosham, said: “Although Ailla felt quite serious she was actually quite plain sailing when you stack her next to Lana.”

Everything was going smoothly when Liz was pregnant with Lana, until she approached 28 weeks.

Jon's first daughter Ailla Malyon was born two months early

Liz suffered a partial placental abruption and was rushed to hospital in Portsmouth, but doctors were unable to stop her going into labour.

When she was born tiny Lana weighed barely over a kilogram and needed heart surgery.

Jon said: “That was pretty horrendously scary.”

After a three month stay at St Richard’s Hospital, Lana was ready to go home. However outreach nurses continued to visit her every day to check she was doing ok.

Lana was born three months early and needed life-saving heart surgery when she was still tiny

Jon, who works at a digital marketing agency in Brighton, said both girls are now doing well.

Both him and Liz have since decided to give back to the NHS and the staff that saved their babies.

Jon said: “We used a lot of their services and we felt a duty and a responsibility to give back.

“We wanted to show our thanks and gratitude.

“The staff are very, very talented but also they understand that you as a parent are going through a very challenging time.

“The one thing that struck me is you immediately feel as at ease as you can in that situation.

“They become part of your extended family.”

Jon said it was also clear that staff are feeling the effects of NHS budget cuts.

When choosing an activity to raise money, he said he wanted to do something to reflect the struggle his girls went through.

“When you are sat in hospital you spend a lot of time next to an incubator.

“What strikes you is they are going through this massive endurance fight just trying to stay alive, and you think if they can do that I can do something.”

Liz has already completed her challenge and Jon is set to take on his in June.

Jon is competing in ÖTILLÖ SwimRun, a 40km-race made up of open water swimming and trail running around the Isle of Scilly.

He hopes to raise £5,000 for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.