Without the RVI ward, little Harry wouldn’t be here today

Harry Wintrip when he had his tube in.
Harry Wintrip when he had his tube in.

The family of a little boy who has spent most of the first year of his life in hospital are hosting a charity night to thank the ward which helped to save his life.

Little Harry Wintrip is a happy boy with a cheeky grin.

Harry Wintrip when he had his tube in.

Harry Wintrip when he had his tube in.

To look at him, you wouldn’t realise that he has spent a year struggling to breathe without help.

Harry was born five weeks premature last December to mum Stacey Anderson, 30, and dad Gavin Wintrip, 26.

At first, there seemed to be no problems at all with the Amble tot.

But, at just 11 weeks old, Harry was referred to Newcastle’s RVI hospital because he was making strange noises while breathing.

Harry Wintrip with his mum Stacey Anderson and dad Gavin Wintrip.

Harry Wintrip with his mum Stacey Anderson and dad Gavin Wintrip.

Stacey, of Wellwood Street, said: “He hadn’t been feeding well, but it was because he had used so much energy to breathe that he didn’t have the energy to feed as well.

“And it made it hard for him to feed and breathe at the same time.”

After his referral it was found that Harry’s upper airways were floppy and he needed a tracheostomy put in to help him breathe.

But it needed constant attention to make sure that it didn’t get blocked, meaning that Harry spent 12 months in and out of hospital.

Harry Wintrip.

Harry Wintrip.

And, because of the tracheostomy, Harry also had to have a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) fitted, which feeds him through a tube as he was unable to eat and drink orally.

“The first six months were the hardest,” Stacey said.

“He pretty much lived at the RVI for a year. We did get him home, but things were difficult.

“The first time he came home he stopped breathing as the tracheostomy was blocked and he was rushed straight back in.

Harry Wintrip with his big sister Ellie.

Harry Wintrip with his big sister Ellie.

“It had to be suctioned all the time.

“He needed one-to-one care all the time, you couldn’t leave him even to go to the toilet, which is why he spent so long in hospital.

“If he got a cold, he would need to be there as well. It has been really hard.”

Now Harry has had the breathing tube removed, but is still fed by a PEG and it is not known how long he will need that.

But he is home and enjoying life with his mum and dad and sister Ellie, three, and brother Kyle, nine.

Stacey added: “It’s absolutely brilliant to have him home.

“His airways are still a bit floppy and he still makes some noise when breathing, but he is much better.

“It has been so hard for his brother and sister seeing him in hospital. They love having him home.”

The family is now organising an event to raise money for the ward on which Harry stayed at the RVI, to thank the doctors and nurses who helped him.

“We were told that if he didn’t have the tracheostomy, he wouldn’t have survived another three months, so we can’t thank them enough,” Stacey said.

A charity night is being held at Amble’s Radcliffe Club on Saturday, March 1.

There will be a live band, raffle and more to raise as much money as possible for the cause.

Tickets for the event are £5 and can be purchased by calling the club on 01665 710406 or by contacting Stacey on 01665 798503.