Luca's story

Sam Thomas is Managing Director of the five-a-side business football leagues company, FirmBalls. Supported by his wife Kelly, he raised £3,000 for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit this summer, to thank those who had cared for his son Luca two years ago. In their own words, here is his story…

“On 2nd May 2015 our amazing twins were born. We were thrown straight onto the roller coaster of parenthood when our daughter Sienna was born without any complications, but our son Luca struggled to survive due to a prolapsed cord. We watched, helpless, as doctors flooded the room and took over the enormous responsibility of keeping our son alive.

“The focus and determination the neonatal staff showed in those early moments will never leave our minds. Luca was given oxygen and a relatively new ‘cooling mat’ treatment to prevent his tiny brain from swelling. We were given the devastating news that he might not survive, but if he did was likely to face severe brain damage.

“The nurses in the days ahead were nothing short of angels. The Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton, which we had heard of but never thought we would need, became our lifeline. Every minute was spent watching and hoping that Luca would survive. We witnessed the dedication and care given to every single baby on the unit first-hand. Day by day Luca built up his strength and overcame small milestones. We started to receive some positive feedback from doctors over the coming weeks, and by week four, we were able to take Luca home to meet his sister Sienna.

“Luca has had two years of tests and monitoring, and finally, aged two-years old, we are so happy to say that Luca has reached every milestone alongside his sister. We could call it a miracle, but like many things in life, it wasn’t luck, but the relentless hard work of the doctors and nurses at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit, who kept our son alive.

“We can never repay what this means to us. I hope that the money raised from the 50 Holes for 50 Years charity golf challenge will help the people whom we literally owe our lives. Thank you for taking the time to read our story.”

To find out more about Sam’s fundraising challenge, please click here

1967
We’ve been supporting sick children for 50 years
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45,000
Young patients are treated at the Alex every year
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600
Babies are treated at the TMBU every year
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250
Babies are treated at SCBU every year
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