Dunmow tot inspires charity run for neonatal unit at Broomfield Hospital

Freddie Wingar on the neonatal unit at Broomfield Hospital, with older sister Poppy

Freddie Wingar on the neonatal unit at Broomfield Hospital, with older sister Poppy - Credit: Archant

A GROUP of friends will be pounding the streets of the capital later this month to raise money for the neonatal unit at Broomfield Hospital.

Matt Wingar and stepson Charlie Udall, from Dunmow, will be joined by Matt’s brother-in-law Tristian Arnold and family friends Ashley Mead, Chris Tebbey, Jamie Wright and Peter Gray to take part in the Bupa London 10,000 on May 27.

They’re hoping to raise £1,000 each for the Chelmsford hospital unit which cared for Matt’s son. Little Freddie was born three months prematurely last July, weighing just 2lbs 8oz, and the first few months of his life have been a challenge for the family.

His mum, Tracey, said: “Freddie spent six weeks in the unit, in intensive care. He’s had lots of tests and had a couple of operations since.

“It was really hard, having to leave him at the hospital every night and to watch him with wires and on monitors. Coming home without your own baby is tough. It was a very difficult time.

“But the staff at the unit are absolutely amazing – not only did they care for Freddie but they were gee-ing us up as well. They were great with Poppy, our daughter. She understood what was going on and found it really tough but the staff were fantastic with her. They really did take care of us.”

The neonatal unit at Broomfield offers intensive care, high dependency and special care to premature and sick babies. Parents are given close support from the neonatal and midwifery team, and are encouraged to participate in their baby’s care.

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Thanks largely to their care, Freddie now weighs a healthy 17lbs and the family is hoping to raise as much money as possible for the unit. Tracey plans to hold a fund-raising coffee morning and also wants to raise the profile of premature births.

“There are no baby and toddler groups [for parents and premature babies] in this area. That is something I would really like to set up,” she said. “Premature births are common. There was no particular reason for Freddie being premature, although I did have fibroids in the womb. It took two years for us to get Freddie, so he really has been our little miracle.”

The Bupa London 10,000 starts and finishes in St James’ Park and attracts 10,000 runners, from Olympians to celebrities and charity fundraisers.

To sponsor Matt, Charlie and the team, e-mail traceyudall@hotmail.com