Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 11:22 UK

Bid to help premature baby ward

Henry aged a few days old on the Buscot Ward
Henry spent 15 weeks being treated on Buscot Ward

Parents of a baby boy who was born weighing just 1lb 10oz (0.74kg) have started a fundraising campaign for the specialist unit where he was treated.

Henry Fry was born in the 27th week of pregnancy at The Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, in November, to parents Anna and Russell.

Henry, who is now nearly five months old, weighs about 8lb (3.6kg) after 15 weeks of treatment in the Buscot Ward.

The unit had a 100% survival rate for babies born before 26 weeks last year.

Staff 'unbelievable'

About 7% of births in England and Wales are premature, or born before 37 weeks - with 0.5% born before 28 weeks, according to newborns charity Tommy's.

One in 10 babies born at the hospital is treated on the Buscot Ward. Last year 600 premature infants were admitted.

Anna Fry said staff on the ward were "unbelievable" and "Henry wouldn't be alive without their help and support".

Henry aged nearly five months
Five-month-old Henry is progressing well, his mother says

"He's doing really well now, he's got a couple of ongoing conditions that's he's still being treated for, but nothing has been identified yet that should stop him from being a healthy and happy toddler.

"After we got our feet on the ground getting him home, we found fundraising was the best way to say thank you."

She said Reading School had already donated £2,800, after pupils took part in a charity fun run, and that an online auction was being planned.

The couple hope to raise at least £6,000.

A spokesman for The Royal Berkshire Hospital said: "We are really delighted that Henry's family and their friends have decided to help the Buscot Ward in such a high profile and generous way."

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Premature baby beats the odds
24 Mar 09 |  England

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