A doting dad has gone the extra mile to thank the charity that helped his family cope with the birth of their premature daughter.
Jonathan Cussons completed the Seabank Marathon from Boston to Skegness last month alongside his mum Debbie to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
The trust provided accommodation and support for Jonathan, 31, and partner Kelly, 34, after their daughter Madeleine Rose was born 12 weeks premature.
Back at the family home in Burgh le Marsh nine month-old-baby Madeleine Rose, the couple’s first child, is now a picture of health, with Jonathan describing her as ‘our true miracle’.
Arriving in the world on November 3, she weighed in at just two pounds and seven-and-a-half ounces.
Kelly had to be transferred to the specialist Rosie Hospital in Cambridge where Madeleine Rose was delivered by caesarian section and placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Jonathan, a history teacher at University Academy Holbeach, said: “Madeleine was in respiratory distress, so doctors put her on a ventilator to help her breathe and turned on special phototherapy lamps to help cure her jaundice.
“With the doctors’ help, Madeleine’s breathing improved and, by day two, she was able to have her ventilation tube removed and was allowed to breathe through a bubble CPAP machine, which is non-invasive ventilation, where they use continuous positive airway pressure to deliver oxygen into the lungs.”
Jonathan and Kelly were able to stay close to their daughter at Chestnut House, a ‘home from home’ provided by The Sick Children’s Trust.
As Madeleine Rose grew stronger she was moved to hospitals in Peterborough and Lincoln and finally Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Then the day Jonathan and Kelly had longed for finally arrived when their daughter came home with them for Christmas.
“We got our very own Christmas miracle; she was discharged at 1pm on Christmas Eve, ready for our very first Christmas as a family,” said Jonathan.
He added: “Madeleine is doing brilliantly now, coming on leaps and bounds, and we wanted to give something back to the charity which supported us when she was born so early.”
Jonathan and Debbie, who celebrated her 50th birthday just after the race, crossed the finish line of the marathon together in 6hrs 29mins.
They raised more than £1,000 for the The Sick Children’s Trust and Debbie’s charity Macmillan Cancer Support.