“When Lucy and I found out we were going to be parents, we were overjoyed, and we couldn’t wait to meet our little man.

But it turns out, Frankie was a little too eager to meet us too, and he arrived 14 weeks early on the 13th August 2021.

Safe to say it wasn’t a straightforward labour and birth, the whole thing felt so surreal, and we barely got chance to see Frankie before he was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Lucy and I spent four weeks by our little boy’s side, because Frankie was so small and fragile, we could only hold him and give him a cuddle a handful of times, we felt helpless.

The one thing we could do was read stories to Frankie and he loved it, he would wriggle around, grab our fingers, and listening to our voices also calmed him down a lot and comforted him when he was distressed. Lucy would read ‘Room on the Broom’ over and over, I’m sure she probably knows it off by heart now!

On the 10th September, after weeks of fighting Frankie sadly died. We will treasure those four weeks we had with our little boy forever, and it’s all thanks to the staff on the ward, they let us be involved in every step of his care, from changing his nappy, to feeding and giving him a wash.

In tribute to Frankie, I’m having a full sleeve tattoo done, with special things that remind me of him, and it features some illustrations from ‘Room on the Broom’ the story that means so much to us.

When my friend Sammy saw the tattoo, she came up with an amazing fundraising idea, why not encourage our friends and families, to read to their child, grandchild, niece, nephew – whoever the special little person/people in their life are, in memory of Frankie.

So, during this week of the 7th February, read ‘Room on the Broom’ or your family’s favourite story, think of Frankie and please donate to Leeds Hospitals Charity to help the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit look after poorly babies and their parents.”

 - Alex and Lucy, Frankie’s mum and dad

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