Effie’s dad, Ian, has been growing his hair since she was born two years ago – and now, he’s shaving it all off to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Jess and Ian’s pregnancy started like most do – full of excitement, brimming with possibilities for the future and planning to welcome their bundle of joy into the world. But at Jess’s 20-week scan, the doctors could see something wasn’t quite right.
– Jess and Ian, Effie’s mum and dad
“We knew things were a little irregular from our 20 weeks scan onwards, which was a little difficult, our first baby, small and helpless.”
Effie was eventually diagnosed with several heart, stomach and spleen problems. At just five days old she needed surgery that left her in an incubator in St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for a month. During this time, she had major surgery on her stomach, had her appendix removed and the hole in her heart was constantly monitored.
Luckily, Effie was able to go home with her parents after NICU staff were happy she was getting stronger with each day.
“She makes me and her Mummy very proud every day.” – Ian, Effie’s dad
When speaking to Ian, it’s clear how highly he and Jess regard the entire NICU team. Their treatment and dedication to looking after the babies in their care meant Jess and Ian knew that on those heart-breaking evenings they had to leave Effie and go home, they were leaving Effie in the best possible hands.
– Ian, Effie’s dad
“St Michael’s NICU was simply unbelievable (even more so as it was the height of coronavirus) and as hard as it was leaving her every day, you just knew she was in the best hands. The staff that we got to know were absolutely fantastic – particularly Daniel and Giulia.”
Celebrating Father’s Day in the NICU
Ian spent his first Father’s Day in the NICU by Effie’s side, but the ward staff didn’t let it go uncelebrated. They handed out gift bags funded by your generous donations to all the dads, helping them celebrate this family occasion despite being in hospital.
After Effie came home, it was all hands on deck to get used to Effie’s diagnoses and navigate life around them. But as two years full of Effie’s cheeky smiles, energetic playfulness and bubbly personality helped ease any concerns Jess and Ian had about long-term effects on Effie’s quality of life, Ian started thinking about how to give back to the ward that gave his family so much.
The ‘Fundrazor’ Begins!
Ian hadn’t had a chance to cut his hair since Effie was born – and as it was coming up to her second birthday, he thought there was no better way to mark the occasion and raise some money than by giving it the chop! His lovely golden locks were even donated to the Little Princess Trust.
Wearing his Cots for Tots fundraising t-shirt, Ian took lots of silly photos all throughout the cut, enjoying the experience to the fullest.
Effie wasn’t there for the haircut and had never seen her dad without his dashing locks… so she was a little surprised when he opened the door with nothing on his head but fuzz! She soon got used to it, and even took to standing next to him on the sofa to idly stroke his head. We think it’s fair to say Effie approved of the new look.
Ian has raised an incredible £2,658 for St Michael’s NICU and all the babies and parents that rely on their expert care. It takes someone very special to chop off their hair in the name of charity – so from everyone here at Cots for Tots, thank you Ian!