A YOUNG woman from Addlestone raised almost £2,000 at her charity coffee morning on Saturday.
Sydney Boyd, who is 21, organised the event at the Catherine of Aragon pub in West Byfleet. She wanted to give something back to the Brompton Fountain, who supported her through the tragic death of her newborn baby Oliver.
She is also raising funds for Tiny Tickers, who provide research into identifying babies’ heart problems early on, in the hope other parents won’t have to suffer the pain she’s going through.
Sydney explained: “On September 15, weighing 7lb 4oz, my beautiful baby boy Oliver John David Boyd was born sleeping. I was devastated and have slowly been trying to rebuild my life.”
At 23 weeks Oliver was found to have a serious heart condition called Ebstein’s Anomaly, which means he was unable to pump blood around his body properly.
Doctors and consultants at St George’s Hospital in Tooting were put on high alert for his delivery. Sadly, though, after a natural start to labour, the hospital staff had to break the agonising news to Sydney that Oliver had passed away, but that he had been peaceful and without distress.
She added: “Without the wonderful Brompton staff, I’m not sure how I’d have coped or what I would have done. They offered so much help and support in the lead up to Oliver’s birth.”
Meanwhile, in another hospital, Sydney’s sister-in-law Kelly Boyd gave birth to a healthy baby, Ronny, on the same day.
Sydney didn’t want Oliver’s death to be in vain so she decided to do something positive. He has been her inspiration to help others, which is why she held Saturday’s fundraiser. Family and friends also rallied round.
She said: “So many prizes were donated by local people and businesses. We held competitions such as ‘Guess How Many Balloons in the Car’ – lent to us by Ian Allen motors – ‘Guess the Weight of the Cake’, and ‘How Many Sweets in the Jar?’.
Other activities included a raffle, face-painting, stalls selling stocking fillers and Christmas cards and more. Sydney added: “It went so well. It was really busy and fun – I didn’t expect to raise £1,900 on the day, which so far takes the total to £4,000 with the online donations.”