Cromer parent’s fundraising thanks to Norwich hospital staff who saved their son

Theo Babbage

Theo Babbage - Credit: submitted

It is every parent's worst nightmare - as you wait to hear a baby's first cry and there is only silence.

Cromer couple Rachael Cherry and Adam Babbage.

Cromer couple Rachael Cherry and Adam Babbage.

When little Theo Babbage's heart stopped, determined hospital staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital spent eight minutes working to revive him.

Now his mother and father are showing their huge gratitude after raising money to help the hospital buy a new incubator like the one which Theo, who is now 16 months old and developing well, used.

Adam Babbage and Rachael Cherry from Mill Road in Cromer have been fundraising for the past year to raise £10,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

They have managed to exceed the target and have raised £16,600.

The NICU cared for Theo, who was resuscitated after suffering breathing problems during an emergency caesarean section in August 2014, for 12 days.

After the operation, doctors then had to revive Theo, who was blue from lack of oxygen, by clearing his lungs before they could restart his heart.

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After Theo's heart was re-started staff were worried he would suffer permanent brain damage.

But that did not happen as his temperature was cooled before being brought back to normal - all through the incubator.

He also received antibiotics and anti-epileptic medication.

Theo was in the incubator for one week - the same amount of time it took him to cry and be held by his parents for the first time.

Miss Cherry, 31, who is a care support worker, said: 'We were staying in the NICU and we saw all the thank you cards and we just said we wanted to give something back. We will be forever grateful to them, it is the only way we could think of paying them back for saving our son's life.'

Fundraising events which have helped raise the £16,600 included a darts competition, car boot and a sausage roll competition at Cromer's White Horse Inn, run by Miss Cherry's mother, Anne Kemp and step-father Ken Nickerson, and a car boot at Priory Maze and Gardens in Beeston Regis, run by Mr Babbage's parents - Neil and Caroline Babbage.

Fundraisers have also taken part in a coastal walk from Hunstanton to Cromer, which raised between £2,000-£3,000.

Donations have also been given from Cromer Carnival Committee as well as from people all over the world who have heard Theo's story.

Miss Cherry said: 'When we started I think we would just do a few little fundraising bits and raise something. It is a bit surreal to think that this time last year it was just a thought.'

The couple have thanked everyone who has chipped in and given something to help achieve and go beyond the target.

Donations are still coming in and the couple are now looking to raise £20,000 which would buy an even better incubator.

Theo had been having four-monthly check-ups at the hospital which were supposed to continue until he was two, but he has been doing so well that in mid-November his parents were told the next check-up would be when he is two-years-old.

Speaking about Theo, Miss Cherry said: 'He is a very happy little boy, he loves his cars, he is very chatty and very caring, he likes to hold your hand. He is just the happiest little man.'

Mr Babbage, 30, a retained Cromer fireman and restaurant manager, added:'We feel really very lucky, it is just a sense of relief he is doing so well.'

To donate to the fund, visit