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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Carlisle grandad’s £1,000 present as thanks for his Christmas gift

A former policeman is taking on a 100km swimming challenge to thank medics who treated his grandson, who was born six weeks prematurely.

Phil Gibson photo
Phil Gibson with Alexander Black, who spent three weeks in hospital after being born six weeks early

A little over a year ago, Heather and Andrew Black were enjoying Christmas dinner with Heather’s dad Phil Gibson.

Heather was pregnant and had suffered from some pain earlier in the day, but she had recovered and was tucking into the meal along with the rest of the family.

But suddenly the day took an unexpected turn.

Heather went into labour and was whisked off to the special baby care unit at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. She gave birth to Alexander the following day.

Carlisle resident Mr Gibson says: “Her waters broke while we were having Christmas dinner so they took her to the hospital and gave him injections so he would develop properly.

“He was in the baby care ward for three weeks or so.

“It was quite dramatic but he’s a wonderful boy. He’s had a few setbacks but he’s growing up now.”

Mr Gibson, 58, decided that he wanted to do something to thank hospital staff who helped his grandson.

He has since decided to swim 100km in 30 days using the pool at Bannatyne’s Health and Fitness in Carlisle. The aim is to raise at least £1,000 for the baby care unit, and he is looking for donations to help him reach that target.

Mr Gibson said: “I’ve been doing a lot of swimming and thought maybe I could ask people to sponsor me and give it to the baby care unit.

“They are thrilled to bits.”

Anyone wanting to donate money to the baby care unit can pick up a form from Bannatyne’s Health Club on Kingstown Road, Carlisle or transfer it to a bank account set up by Mr Gibson. The sort code is 40-46-59 and account number is 11150057.

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