Grateful parents of Shropshire 'miracle baby' now giving back to charity that helped them

When baby Clementine Gunner was born, what should have been one of her parents Martin and Sophie’s best days instead became their worst nightmare.

Sophie and Martin Gunner with three-year-old Seb and one-year-old Clementine
Sophie and Martin Gunner with three-year-old Seb and one-year-old Clementine

Clementine was born just over a year ago, with a bleed on the brain. She had to be resuscitated numerous times and be transferred to Liverpool’s Arrowe Park Intensive Care Unit.

Her parents had to watch their little girl fight for her life many miles from their Shropshire home.

They say help was offered in the form of accommodation at the hospital’s Ronald McDonald House which gives families the chance to be near seriously ill patients.

Now enjoying life back in Oswestry with Clementine and older brother Sebastian, Martin is planning a sponsored skydive on Father’s Day to raise money for the McDonald’s charity.

He said without the home from home in Liverpool their worries would have been even worse than there were.

“Clementine spent her first five weeks in intensive care where she was hooked up to a ventilator and more wires than you can imagine,” he said.

Martin is planning a sponsored skydive to raise money for the McDonald’s charity

“Her unstable condition mean she was three weeks old until we even got to hold her in our arms. Watching our fragile little girl fighting for her life was truly, truly heart-breaking.

“Despite being told every day for the first few weeks that Clementine might not make it through the night, every single day she surpassed all expectations. Every time she was confronted with an obstacle, she would surprise us all.

"She is our miracle baby. We have the strongest little girl imaginable and after two months in the intensive care and high dependency units, Clementine finally came home on April 23 last year.

“During this extremely difficult time we were lucky enough to be given a room at the Ronald McDonald’s House at Arrowe Park Hospital. It kept our family together at the most difficult time of our lives.

"The charity gave us somewhere to stay close to where our little princess was fighting so hard for her life. We were never more than a few minutes away from her the entire time and nothing was too much trouble for the staff there.

“This wonderful charity provides families with somewhere to rest, cook and sleep all within a short distance from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and doesn’t charge a penny to parents, like us, who really needed it. During such a hard time, I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

Martin, who works in the Co-op on Wenlock Road, Shrewsbury, will do his skydive on June 20 and people can sponsor him on line at justgiving.com/fundraising/martin-gunner

The skydive will mean a great deal to him as his grandfather and grandmother were both in the RAF.

“They both earned their wings for parachuting and now my mother has passed them on to me for the skydive. I am not very good with heights but doing this for such a good cause is spurring me on,” he said.

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