After giving birth to a baby boy weighing just 2lbs, Abigail Lunt faced her toughest moments.

Now she is backing a fresh appeal by mayor of Hillingdon Allan Kauffman to round his fundraising year off in style with a last-minute dash for cash.

Mrs Lunt and her husband, Dave, who live in Brooklyn Way, West Drayton, were on holiday in Worcester in October 2012, when their baby Jack decided it was time to make an appearance.

But Jack had come early. Born at just 28 weeks, he weighed the equivalent of a bag of sugar.

“He was tiny,” Mrs Lunt, 44, said. “It’s completely terrifying when they are that little, they look like they are going to break.

“I put my finger in his hand and the tip swamped the whole of his hand.

“Whenever you go to touch him you think he is going to snap.”

 

When Jack was 10 days old he was taken by ambulance from a hospital in Worcester to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Hillingdon Hospital, which he called home for the next nine weeks.

“We were going through one of the toughest times of our life at that point and every nurse and doctor we met at the NICU made sure that we knew exactly what was going on and were as much a part of treating Jack as they were,” said Mrs Lunt.

“It was the most scary time and having doctors and nurses who were so calming made such a difference.

“Because he was so tiny it was a few days before I could actually hold him, but the NICU does a thing called ‘kangaroo treatment’, which is skin-to-skin contact between the baby and the mother and it’s absolutely amazing.

“His heart rate was high and his stats were low but as soon as I held him against me he really levelled out and his heart rate dropped,” Mrs Lunt said.

The nurses also kept a diary of overnight developments by Jack’s incubator, to keep his parents informed when they weren’t able to be on the ward.

“We never missed a thing,” Mrs Lunt said.

Mr Kauffman and his wife, Lynne, met the Lunt family when they visited the NICU last year, and there and then decided they would raise some extra money for their Rainbow Appeal - in addition to the £61,000 already targeted for their seven chosen charities throughout their mayoral year – if the total had been reached.

During the visit they had met Doctor Jide Menakaya, who told them up-to-date equipment was a major factor in caring for the incredibly underweight premature babies.

“It is the job of the unit’s compassionate staff not only to fight for the babies’ survival but to nurture the parents through a very difficult time,” said the borough’s first couple.

“At the hospital, good equipment is aging and could benefit from an upgrade. Dr Menakaya told us an incubator costs £15,000, which in the scheme of things, considering its worth, seemed do-able.

“We have been amazed by the response from the community and are moving fast towards the end of the mayoralty and have our fingers crossed that we may make the £15k.”

Councillor Allan Kauffman’s term of office ends tomorrow night (Thursday), when Councillor Catherine Dann will be made mayor of Hillingdon, and she will be announcing her own charity appeal shortly. But you can still support the incubator appeal by sending cheques made out to 'The Mayor's Charity Appeal 2013/14' to: Mayor's Parlour, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW. Or call 01895 250763.