The kind-hearted family and friends of a 22-month-old boy in Coventry have raised over £3,000 to fund research into
premature births – by putting all their £2 coins in jam jars.
Jayden Rixon was born at 28 weeks old weighing just 2lb 8oz at the University Hospital, Coventry, on March 6, 2011 where he
spent his first couple of months in the neo-natal unit on a ventilator. He developed chronic lung disease and hydrocephalus.
Jayden was transferred to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital for a heart operation in May 2011 and a month later, he had a
shunt fitted to relieve the pressure on his head.
He was brought home for the first time on July 11, 2011 by his delighted parents Carmel and Oscar.
Since his homecoming, 44-year-old Carmel Rixon and 54-year-old Oscar Dhaliwal along with Carmel’s daughter, Hayley, and other relatives and friends have been busy saving their £2 coins for the Grace Research Fund.
Carmel said: “I only found out I was expecting at 26 weeks and I gave birth to Jayden 12 days later! I hadn’t told many people because I was in shock – my daughter is now aged 26 so there is quite an age gap.
“It is such a massive relief that Jayden is doing so well. Since he was born so early, I was worried that he would never come home.
“He is a little fighter and he has fought all the way through. He weighed 9lbs when we brought him home aged four months. He was on home oxygen for the first few months and was given inhaled steroids to improve his lungs.
“The care and expertise he received from staff in Coventry and Birmingham was first-class and we wanted to show our appreciation.
“We haven’t done a specific fundraising event but between our family and friends, we put every £2 coin we receive into jam jars. It is amazing how quickly it adds up and we are delighted to have raised so much money so far.”
Dr Andy Coe, consultant paediatrician at University Hospital, said he had nearly caused himself an injury carrying the collecting tins full of £2 coins to the bank!
“Jayden is really quite an amazing survivor and is in pretty good health considering all the problems that he particularly encountered,” he said.
“He has had only further stay in hospital when he picked up a virus in November. He continues to have regular appointments and he is soon to have a hernia repaired.
“We are always grateful to families and friends of babies we have cared for when they raise money for the Grace Research Fund and to have collected over £3,000 by saving coins in this way is amazing and we are very grateful.”