DEDICATED Paul Murray helped raise £10,000 to support sick and premature babies at The University Hospital of North Tees, giving the Neoangels charity its largest donation to date.
Paul, 56, from Billingham, along with members of The Swan Pub’s Charitable Fund, have been fundraising for the Neonatal Unit at the hospital for more than two decades.
Paul’s younger brother Robert was cared for on the Neonatal Unit in 1973, when he was born six weeks premature, and it was that experience that inspired Paul, and his friends to fundraise to help babies like his brother.
The group have previously purchased and donated items including, a CPAP machine, which helps babies with who need breathing support, a Bilibed which helps babies who have jaundice and an I.V Docking Station for several life-saving intravenous drugs to be administered.
Now, with the help of his friend Steven Perkis, Paul has presented the Neoangels Charity which supports sick and premature babies on the Neonatal Unit at North Tees, with a cheque for £10,000.
Paul has taken part in Coast to Coast bike rides, the famous Boxing Day Dip at Redcar as well as sky dives to raise money for the Unit, while The Swan held charity nights.
Paul, said: “It all started years ago when we did a disco night at the pub and we discussed where the money should go. One of the lads suggested the Special Care Baby Unit (as it was known back then) and after the care I saw my brother receive I was more than happy to fundraise for them.
“We would fundraise to buy equipment for the Unit, we would go in and ask what they wanted, and we bought it for them. Barbara Harrison, who was the Ward Manager at the time, and Dr Harikumar would always come along to our presentation evenings to collect the cheques or equipment.
“When there were talks of the new hospital at Wynyard, we moved the money to a savings account as we didn’t want any donated equipment left behind.”
In December, Paul went up to the Neonatal Unit to deliver the incredible news that the account had more than £9,500 in and that Paul himself would top it up to make the £10,000.
Paul wanted to donate his money to the Neoangels Charity after seeing the work they do on the Unit and the difference the team are making to the families and staff.
Zoe Musgrave, Staff Nurse and Trustee, said: “When Paul came in and told us just how much money he had raised and wanted to donate, we all nearly fell on the floor in shock. It’s an astounding amount, and one that is going to make such an enormous difference to the ward. We cannot thank him enough.”
Lottie King, Chief Executive Officer, added: “Paul and his friends really have gone above and beyond over the years for our babies and purchased life-saving equipment. It is an honour for us to be able to carry on their legacy and provide even more help and equipment to our Neonatal Unit. We will forever be grateful to Paul and Steve.”
Neoangels supports families of sick and premature babies on the Neonatal Unit at the University Hospital of North Tees. It offers financial support, emotional support, bereavement care and purchases medical equipment.