A dad and his friends skydived to raise funds for Oxford Hospitals Charity after his baby son needed treatment.
Last summer, at just four weeks old, Andy Prescott’s new-born son, Rafe, was rushed to the Horton General Hospital Emergency Department, after becoming unwell with a temperature and difficulties feeding.
Within seconds of their arrival to the emergency department, Rafe’s condition deteriorated, and he became unresponsive and floppy. He was put on oxygen, while lifesaving tests were carried out.
The family from Brackley near Bicester was eventually told that Rafe was very poorly with sepsis, and that further treatment was needed at the Oxford Children’s Hospital. The family were transferred and began their lengthy stay while Rafe underwent lifesaving treatment.
Rafe’s mum Edlene said: “Once we arrived at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, Rafe was too exhausted and weak to feed properly and so was being tube fed, which was hard for me because not being to feed him myself and feel that bond was tough.
“As the days went on and further tests were carried out, it was discovered that our baby had a kidney reflux and couldn’t empty his own bladder which meant more treatment was needed. Of course, we were all devastated, but we were at the beginning of what I can only describe as every parent’s worst nightmare.”
At first, Rafe’s weak condition and low blood platelet count meant that doctors were unable to carry out a lumbar puncture. Once he’d gained some strength, the diagnosis that everyone had been dreading was confirmed: Rafe had bacterial meningitis.
Over the next 21 days, Rafe’s condition gradually began to improve, and the family were able to see their little boy getting stronger.
After another short stay back at the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital, Edlene, Andy and Rafe were finally allowed home, where the youngster has continued to go from strength to strength.
To thank the medical teams who looked after Rafe, Andy and his friends took part in a 15,000ft tandem skydive and raised over £6,500. Mr Prescott said: “We are so happy to have been able to give back to the hospitals. Although we were all a bag of nerves before the jump, we knew the importance of this skydive and it spurred us on. We’ll be forever grateful to the teams at the Oxford Children’s Hospital and Horton General, as our baby wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their quick thinking and expert knowledge.”
Claire Hughes of Oxford Hospitals Charity said: “A big thank you to Andy, Mike, Eddie and Adam for braving the 15,000ft drop in support of our hospitals. The money raised will make a difference across the wards and departments that cared for little Rafe.”