Many of you will remember the very sad news that came during the Flower Festival in 2008 when Valerie and Basil Wales’ baby grand-daughter Ella died but her twin brother Chris survived. Chris is now 12 and has been raising money for SSNAP (Support for Sick Newborns And their Parents) in memory of Ella. Chris writes:

I was born extremely prematurely at 26 weeks + 6 days along with my twin sister, Ella Rae. I was in the John Radcliffe Hospital for 83 days and cared for around the clock in the Special Care Baby Unit. On 16th June 2008 I started my fight for life, only weighing 2.5 pounds and my twin even less. Initially, Ella was doing better than me, but a disease overwhelmed her immune system and sadly she died after 19 days. But I continued under the expert care of a team of doctors and nurses, for which I will always be grateful. They gave me the life that was so nearly lost.

I am now 12 years old and have hit all my developmental milestones and am living life to the full.

I am in debt to the John Radcliffe Hospital for the care I received and I am excited to do this fundraising challenge to raise much needed money in these hard times. So, I have decided to camp out on the 22-23-24 August, spending three nights in a private woodland in a neighbouring village. I am trying to use as little man-made equipment as possible on this adventure. For food, I will eat hazelnuts from the trees and will be making stinging nettle soup. I will not be using a sleeping bag as I will be making a blanket out of leaves and over the past few weeks I have constructed a den to sleep in.

The money I raise will go directly to SSNAP (Support for Sick Newborns And Their Parents) to fund their vital work, helping other families with premature babies to get the critical care they need. SSNAP champions the rights of all sick and premature babies treated in Oxford to receive the best care. They do this by supporting families, purchasing life saving equipment and enabling life changing research and training.

I would be so grateful if you could support me in this fundraising adventure.

Thank you

Chris Meek (Age 12)

To donate to this very worthy cause, visit Chris’ page on Go Fund Me.