A mum who nearly lost her baby son to a rare condition earlier this year is getting ready to take on her first skydive to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Gemma Smart, 31 from Littleport, is bravely preparing to take on the challenge later this weekend in Beccles, Suffolk, to say thank you to the charity which helped her and her family whilst their baby boy, Drew, was fighting for his life in hospital.
At just a few days old, Drew underwent emergency surgery to fit a stoma and colostomy bag after being diagnosed with colonic atresia, where the colon hasn’t formed correctly and results in a very rare type of obstruction in the intestines.
Six months later, Drew was readmitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for his stoma to be reversed. The operation seemed a success, but Drew soon took a turn for the worse becoming increasingly unwell as scar tissue had caused his bowel to become perforated. Over the next three weeks, little Drew endured three emergency operations to save his life. Mum Gemma and her husband Rob watched on helplessly as their only child endured operation after operation, still only a few months old. However, throughout this time they were just minutes from their baby’s hospital bedside at Acorn House, free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Gemma, who has already passed her fundraising target and raised £2,628, says:
“This amazing charity gave us a place to stay when we were desperate; out of our minds with fear and worry when we thought we were going to lose our beautiful son. I felt hopeless back then watching my baby who was so tiny and helpless with doctors rushing around trying to save his life. It still hurts to think about it now.