A COUPLE are organising a charity night to raise funds for the hospital unit that saved their baby’s life.
David Barker and Rachael Martin have put together Night4CHUF – a star-studded event at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light next Friday to raise funds for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
It will include live performances from Jarrow YouTube sensations May Arcade, X Factor finalists The Risk and tribute band, The Reet Hot Chilli Peppers.
A talk will also be given by SAFC legends Kevin Ball and Darren Williams.
David, 21, from Sunderland, said: “When Rachael was pregnant and we went for the 20-week scan, we were told there was something wrong but the doctors weren’t sure exactly what it was.
“Jake was born at the RVI and moved to the heart unit at the Freeman straight away. He had his first operation when he was just five weeks old, and he had another at seven months.”
Jake – diagnosed with a catalogue of heart problems, including a small right ventricle and pulmonary stenosis, a heart valve disorder – is now 18 months old and doing well, but he’ll need to have regular check-ups.
David added: “We want to organise this to thank the unit for everything they’ve done. A lot of people do the Great North Run, but we wanted to do something a bit different.
“We wanted a big name and The Risk were on our wish list. We contacted them and they said they’d love to do it and free of charge as well. Hopefully, we’ll raise a lot.”
The unit’s future is in doubt after NHS plans recommending it continued while other centres closed, were successfully challenged in court.
Tickets for the event, starting at 6pm, cost £20 for adults and £10 for under 16s. To book, call 07534 633 478.