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Family's best foot forward with little Freya for Preston hospital heroes

Front, Gelston Manor Nursery owners Laura and Neil Ward with their daughters Freya, one, and Jessica, eight, and behind from left, room leader Fran Purdy, nursery practitioner Aksah Tahir, nursery practitioner Katerina Prakova and deputy room leader Miranda Holt
Front, Gelston Manor Nursery owners Laura and Neil Ward with their daughters Freya, one, and Jessica, eight, and behind from left, room leader Fran Purdy, nursery practitioner Aksah Tahir, nursery practitioner Katerina Prakova and deputy room leader Miranda Holt
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It is nearly a year since medical staff at the Royal Preston Hospital saved baby Freya May Ward’s life.

To say a special thank you family and friends put their best feet forward on a fund raising walk on the eve of Freya’s first birthday.

Charity walkers at the nursery

Charity walkers at the nursery


Now they have raised £662 for the Sharoe Green Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and sponsorship money is still coming in.


Mum Laura, co-proprietor of the Gelston Manor Day Nursery at Whittle le Woods, said: “Freya had to be rushed to the NICU four hours after birth with breathing difficulties.

We are raising money to try and help repay all the staff at the NICU for saving Freya’s life.”


Family and friends joined the sponsored walk from Gledstone Manor Day Nursery to the Sharoe Green unit, a total of 11 miles.


The walkers included Freya’s big sister Jess, eight, who managed nine miles, defeated only by her trainers rubbing her feet, dad Neil. and uncle and aunt Sam and Miranda Holt.


Laura said: “It was absolutely amazing. I didn’t think we would get this much support. We had a lof of support from everybody - especially the parents from nursery as well as family and friends because they knew what happened to Freya.”


Freya too had a star role being wheeled in her pram along the walk route.


Laura said: “Freya is happy, healthy, she’s thriving. She’s just amazing and a happy little girl.”


Recalling how she had her bags packed ready to leave hospital with her newborn when the medical emergency occurred just hours after Freya was born she said they would probably never know the exact cause of the infant’s problems.

She said: “Her blood oxygens were very low. She progressively got worse over the first 24 hours. The next day we were told she was a very poorly baby and that the next 24 hours were critical.”


The family recall with gratitude the care Freya received having more than two weeks in intensive care and the quick response of staff to her plight. Donations can still be made to the Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-ward47


Laura added: “Please help us raise as much money as we can for this amazing cause and the amazing staff to whom we are forever indebted.”