Poignant fund raiser for grateful Bideford parents

The loss of one child and thanks for another has prompted a local couple to give something back to local baby charities.

A BIDEFORD family has organised a fund raising event for baby care charities on what would have been the first birthday of their first child and to mark the arrival of his little brother.

Oscar and Theo’s Bazaar is at Westward Ho! Baptist Church Hall on Friday, February 10 and has been set up by Kevin and Zo? Merritt.

The couple had been looking forward to the birth of their first baby last year but life dealt them a cruel blow and their son Oscar was born stillborn a week after his due date.

The couple and their families were devastated but despair turned to hope a short time later when Zo? became pregnant again with Theo.

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Theo Andrew Merritt was born on Monday, January 16 weighing seven pounds and seven ounces but happiness turned to despair as it emerged he had been born with breathing difficulties.

He was admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at North Devon District Hospital and two days later transferred by the specialist Peninsular Neonatal Transport Service team to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unity (NICU) at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol where he stayed for six days.

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Thanks to the Cots for Tots charity the couple were able to stay free of charge in accommodation next door to the Bristol hospital and now thanks to the care he received, both Theo and his parents are back at home.

The family has organised the fund raiser in gratitude and the bazaar will include stalls, refreshments, a raffle and a silent auction, with proceeds divided between POPSI the support group of the SCBU in Barnstaple and the Cots for Tots Appeal, part of the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal Charity at St Michael’s.

The event runs from 10.30am-2.30pm and generous lots already donated to the silent auction include Sunday lunch for two at the Commodore Hotel, Instow, plus designer jewellery by Kim Styles and a two tier wedding, birthday or Christmas cake donated by Bonanza Buffet Ltd.

Donations or auction lots are welcome and anyone who can help is asked to call (01237) 422492. To find out more about the charities, go to www.popsi.org.uk or www.cotsfortots.org.uk.

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