Mayor of Ipswich visits premature baby unit which saved his son’s life

Glen Chisholm with baby Clinton 18 years ago.

Glen Chisholm with baby Clinton 18 years ago. - Credit: Archant

Eighteen years ago the Ipswich Hospital Neonatal Unit saved the life of premature baby Clinton Chisholm.

Left to right, Ipswich Hospital medical director Barbara Buckley, Mayor Glen Chisholm, Clinton Chish

Left to right, Ipswich Hospital medical director Barbara Buckley, Mayor Glen Chisholm, Clinton Chisholm, Hospital CEO Nick Hulme and matron Sarah Smith. - Credit: Archant

Clinton is now consort to his dad, Glen, the mayor of Ipswich, and they have chosen the hospital’s Sunrise Appeal as one of their charities for the year.

The appeal is raising £100,000 for equipment and home comforts for babies, children and their families in hospital.

Clinton was one of twins, but his brother Terrell tragically died early on in the pregnancy because they were suffering from twin-to-twin syndrome, meaning they were sharing a blood supply.

The babies’ mother became ill so she had to go into intensive care and Clinton was born by emergency caesarean more than a month early. He was in the neonatal unit for around three weeks.

“They were brilliant, it was a very traumatic time for us and they made sure our minds were at ease and let us spend time with Clinton and make that important bond,” Mr Chisholm said.

Father and son visited the neonatal and paediatric wards at the hospital, meeting with chief executive Nick Hulme, medical director Barbara Buckley, children’s matron Sarah Smith and frontline staff on the wards.

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Mr Chisholm, 42, said he was impressed with the way technology in the unit had advanced to ensure the bond between parents and premature babies was strongly formed.

When Mr Chisholm was a new parent, he only had a photograph to take in to the mother while she was unwell, but now the parents were able to see recordings of their baby via tablets, such as iPads.

“With everything I went through, I feel sometimes they do not get the credit they deserve for the amazing work they do,” he added.

“Although I never got to hold Terrell, if it was not for the staff in the neonatal unit I would not have been able to hold Clinton and watch him grow into the amazing young man he is today.

“There are families out there, likes ours, that the reason they are families is because of the neonatal unit. So we are trying to raise as much money as we can.”

Clinton, 18, studied A-levels at Suffolk One and has just started a psychology degree at the University of Essex.

Mr Chisholm is also fundraising for Suffolk Mind, which supports people with mental health issues.

You can donate to the Sunrise Appeal by texting RISE88 £3 to 70070.

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