Excited community members rally behind a Kidderminster couple whose infant daughter spent six months in hospital after she “stopped breathing”.
Father Alex Cookson, 29, had to give life-saving CPR to his daughter Evie again in April shortly after she was born.
Mr. Cookson and his fiancée, Jasmine Bayliss, 28, were once told that Evie “won’t make it through the night”.
After spending half a year at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Evie is now back at the family home in Spinels. There is still no official diagnosis for Evie and her condition remains a “mystery”.
Mr Cookson said: “Bringing Evie home after exactly 6 months in hospital was a surreal moment after she was once told she wouldn’t survive the night.
“We simply cannot thank Birmingham Children’s Hospital enough for the level of care and attention they have given us throughout our journey.
“Those first few days at home were something we will never forget.
“She still has a long way to go and she still needs a high level of medical care at home but the important thing is that she is at home.
“For 12 hours a day, we become a normal family and do normal things. Over time, we hope to increase 12 hours and eventually become 24 hours.
“We can’t explain the feelings we’ve been through but every little bit of it now deserves to see Evie flourish at home, rolling and screaming at us and smiling at us and playing with her older sister’s namesake.”
Mr. Cookson, an engineer at Sky, had hoped to renovate the kitchen during his family’s paternity leave, but those plans were scrapped after the emergency.
Now, plumbers, electricians, painters, and plasterers have come together to help make a DIY SOS renovation.
The effort was organized by the amazing Kidderminster Running Club, of which Mr. Cookson is affiliated.
When Ivy was admitted to the hospital, “everyone at the club was shocked and very upset,” said Nikki Fisher, treasurer of the running club, which runs a flooring company.
She added, “We have quite a few dealers in the club. We are looking for each other. Everyone is so amazing.”
Mr. Cookson said he was overwhelmed by the support he had received and thanked A&N Flooring, TWS Windows and Doors, Norgrove Building Supplies, Howdens, Elliot Blount builder, carpenter Stuart Smith, BH Painting and Plastering, M&L Electronics, builder Ade Wills and plumber Andrew Broom.
Back in July, Amazing Feet Running Club raised over £4,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 24 hours.
He added, “Gus and I have cried a lot since the start of the business.
“How kind people can be and give so much in such difficult times is amazing. We are really grateful.
“Everyone has refused any form of payment from us and we are getting offers for different things all the time.
“Kitchen legs have really grown and become a little bigger business than previously planned, but everyone just jumped in at solving problems with instant solutions.
“They were great and when you’re done it would be great to have a family at home at Christmas.”
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