Couple's generosity goes in in wake of son's loss

By Nub News Reporter

14th Jun 2024 | Local News

Seffy gets a hug from big sister Lyra.
Seffy gets a hug from big sister Lyra.

A grateful couple has pledged to continue raising vital charity funds in memory of their baby son after welcoming their new daughter to the world.

Catherine Alport, from Wivenhoe, gave birth to Seraphina Rosemary Ava on 12 May. Her arrival forced dad Andrew Foster to abandon his plans to run the Leeds Marathon in memory of the couple's son Rycroft and rush home to be there for the birth instead.

Andrew now plans to run the race virtually in a few weeks' time so that he can still raise money in Rycroft's name.

Rycroft was born with a rare genetic condition called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS), which meant he needed a bone marrow transplant shortly after his first birthday. Although the procedure was a success, Rycroft developed a chest infection during his recovery and sadly died last summer aged 16 months.

Andrew and Catherine set the ambitious goal of raising £60,000 to thank three charities – including Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity – which supported him during his short life. Despite hitting that target in February, the couple have continued to raise funds ever since.

They have now asked anyone who planned to buy them a present or card following Seraphina's birth to instead donate the money to Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital or SDS UK.

Andrew said: "Colchester Hospital has been such a huge part of our lives as a family over the past three years. It was a consultant at Colchester that first discovered Rycroft's condition and it was at Colchester that he received such fantastic care that gave him a chance of life. Beyond that, the compassion and consideration of everyone that was involved in Rycroft's care at Colchester made a huge difference in some of the most difficult days of our lives.

"For his little sister to be born at the hospital where he spent much of his life, and is continuing to impact upon so many people having being motivated to give so generously in his memory, feels like the closing of a circle."

A little girl hugging her baby sister

Penny Norris, community fundraising manager with Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, said: "We were delighted to hear about Seraphina's arrival, and would like to pass on our heartfelt congratulations to Andrew, Catherine and Seffy's big sister Lyra (pictured above with Seraphina).

"We are hugely grateful to the couple and their friends and family for their incredible fundraising so far, which has cemented Rycroft's legacy and will make a huge difference to future patients at the hospital. Our thanks go to everyone who has supported their fantastic fundraising efforts."

Rycroft's Just Giving page is still open for anyone who would like to make a donation.


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