A city engineer is taking part in Sheffield Hospitals Charity's flagship fundraiser to give something back to the doctors and nurses who saved his tiny baby son's life.

Ian Mclean, aged 44, from Sheffield is an engineer at Dutton Engineering and is taking part in the charity's Jessops Superheroes event for the third time alongside wife Natalie (aged 41) and son Thomas, now aged 4.

The family's entry follows Thomas' desperate fight for life after a routine pregnancy scan found a problem, prompting an emergency caesarean section.

Ian said: “Natalie’s pregnancy started off in a positive and exciting way, and after all scheduled scans and tests raised no concerns, we were happily preparing for our new arrival. 

“We decided it would be a nice to have a 4D scan as a keepsake. But during this scan we received the heartbreaking news that there was an absent flow within the umbilical cord and our baby boy was very small for his age. 

“Within just thirty minutes Natalie was admitted to the Jessop Wing, where she’d staying until our baby was born. I felt extremely concerned and anxious, things seemed to move very quickly and what should have been a happy occasion changed to one of uncertainty and alarm.

“For the first few days everything seemed a blur. It was very strange to return home that day on my own. I knew Natalie was in good hands though. The staff were so supportive and she started to build relationships with them. 

“Natalie and the baby were monitored very closely in the coming weeks until Thomas’ heart rate dropped too low and the decision was made to deliver him by emergency Caesarian section.

“When I first saw him I can honestly say I was relieved to know he was here and being cared for. Thomas looked look very small weighing only 2lbs 4oz and he had tubes assisting him to breathe.

“I couldn’t touch him at this stage and can remember just standing there for some time just watching him. It wasn’t until later that day when Natalie came around from the anesthetic we I both got to spend time with Thomas as a family.

“Natalie and I were able to stay at the hospital in the specially built family rooms. Thomas needed 24/7 support and having specialist staff on hand should we need them was a god send. 

“Holding Thomas for the first time was brilliant, he hardly weighed anything and was so small and delicate. It also meant we were able to sit quietly with him and bond which the three of us needed so much.

“It was a difficult time. Due to Natalie being in hospital for five weeks prior to the birth and Thomas remaining in the NNU for a further two months after being born, I had to continue working throughout this time. 

“I’d work full time throughout the week then drive straight to the hospital each night and all weekend to assist in Thomas’s care and sit with him all evening. This became the norm for me for several months, until the day finally came one Saturday when we were allowed to take him home. 

“This was a great day and felt brilliant but it also felt strange to leave the care of Jessop Wing where up until that moment Thomas had lived and received hands on specialist care around the clock. 

“Due to the length of our stay it seemed as though we knew all the staff by name and developed relationships with them. They had been there for us supporting us throughout our time there. Leaving the hospital that day took a long time as all the staff made sure they spoke to us and congratulated us before we left. 

“I can truly say that the staff are something else, this is far more than just a job, what they do and the care they give can’t really be put in to words, they have a love and passion for the care they give. 

“Natalie and I will always continue to support the Jessop Wing and the incredible work they do. As a proud dad and having firsthand experience of the NNU, we will continue to help whenever we can so they can continue their excellent work and dedication to those who find themselves needing it.” 

To raise funds to help improve the care and treatment of babies and their families at the Jessop Wing, Sheffield Hospitals Charity is hosting its fifth annual Jessops Superheroes event, which has now raised more than £90k in the last four years.

This year’s event, promises to be bigger and better than the last, and all involved are encouraged to wear superhero costumes to celebrate the NHS heroes who care for and save the lives of  Sheffield’s tiniest patients every day.

Jessops Superheroes (formally Jessops Buggy Push), sponsored by Dutton Recruitment, is a 2.5k family walk which takes place on Sunday 10 June 2018 at Graves Park at 10.30am. There is a £15 minimum sponsorship for all who take part. All who take part will be given a free superhero bib or cape.

For more information, or to register, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/superheroess email [email protected] or call 0114 226 7351.