Mum’s fundraiser after Colchester Hospital saved her baby’s life

Freya Essex (centre) with mum Rhianna and dad Simon

Freya Essex (centre) with mum Rhianna and dad Simon - Credit: Archant

A mother whose baby was saved by staff at Colchester General Hospital has said she wants to say “a massive thank you” with a fundraising event.

Freya Essex

Freya Essex - Credit: Archant

Rhianna Essex’ baby, Freya, was taken seriously ill with a respiratory problem within a hours of being born at the hospital.

She had to spend the first 11 days of her life in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) as her mum and dad, Simon, 33, hoped for the best.

Thankfully Freya made a full recovery and is now a happy, healthy and “somewhat cheeky” two-year-old.

Rhianna, of Ipswich Road, Colchester, is organising a nearly-new sale later this month with money raised going straight to the SCBU.

Staff on the unit are currently saving to buy some reclining chairs and are always needing to update crucial equipment.

Rhianna, 31, said: “We will be forever grateful for the care and support the hospital’s staff showed to us.

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“We want to raise money for the special care baby unit to ensure more families can receive the vital care as Freya.

“The unit relies on fundraising and donations to buy vital equipment that their funding doesn’t always stretch to.”

Rhianna added: “Hopefully the sale will also be a chance for people to make bags of money from bags of your old baby and kids clothes, toys and books.

“If, like us, you have a loft full of things that you would like to sell, then you can have a stall at the sale for just £15. And you get to keep all of your own profits from your sales.

“I hope people will pop down to grab a bargain – there will also be a selection of stalls from local businesses selling lots of very pretty, yummy, hand-crafted things.”

Karen Moss, senior sister at the SCBU, said: “The team here remembers the Essex family very well and we’re thrilled to hear Freya is now a typically mischievous two-year-old.

“They were so grateful for the help we gave their little girl that Mr Essex wrote individually to many of the team and also to the trust’s chief executive to thank us.

“We would like to thank them for choosing to raise funds for the unit and wish them every success for their sale later this month.”

Mrs Moss added that the Essex family would be welcome to pop in with Freya to meet the neonatal unit team.

The sale takes place at Thomas Lord Audley school in Monkwick Avenue from 9.30am-1pm on April 25.

Entry is £1, children go free, and all money goes to SCBU.

To reserve a stall, or for any other enquiries, contact