Otley sister act aids charity as a thank you for baby support

Danielle O'Hara with Otley mum Helen Jackson and son Thomas at the opening of new photo display at LGI's neonatal unit

Luan Jackson, the son of Helen’s sister-in-law Sarah

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Two sisters whose sons both needed vital care have held ‘thankyou’ fund-raisers in Otley for baby charity Bliss.

Sarah Jackson’s son Luan, now two, needed a fortnight of specialist help at Harrogate Hospital at the same time her nephew, Thomas, was fighting for his life at Leeds General Infirmary’s special care baby unit.

Sarah’s sister-in-law, Helen Jackson, has gone on to become a Bliss Leeds Champion, such is the gratitude she feels towards the charity for the support it provided after Thomas, also now two, was born nine weeks early weighing little more than two pounds.

Although Luan reached full term, he weighed just over five pounds and had high levels of haemoglobin, which required hospital treatment under heat lamps and tube feeding.

Helen raised £305 for Bliss last week by organising a children’s Hallowe’en disco, hosted by the Silly Brothers, at Otley Courthouse, while Bokwa fitness instructor Sarah raised £110 by holding a Hallowe’en-themed workout.

She said: “Helen does a lot more for Bliss than me and is really involved, but after what we both went through and all the help we received, I wanted to do something for them too.

“As a new mother, it’s hard enough anyway, never mind having extra health worries, so to get such great support from groups like Bliss is fantastic.

“We’ll continue fundraising for them, and I’m hoping to do a big ‘Bokwathon’ in Otley in the future.”

Helen’s idea of creating a photo display at LGI of premature babies who have gone on to flourish became a reality in July when it was unveiled by model Danielle O’Hara.

She said: “There are a lot of local events going on to support Bliss’s work right now and raise funds, which is great.”

Otley Rhythm Time children’s group collected £149 for the charity with a raffle. Other local fundraisers preparing to take on challenges for Bliss include eight-year-old Jenson Brogden, who is running in the Abbey Dash on November 18, and Melanie Metcalfe, who has had two babies in special care and will be taking on the Grim Challenge in December.

They can be sponsored at justgiving.com/JensonBrogden and justgiving.com/Melanie-Metcalfe1 respectively.

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