A proud aunt from Peterborough has told of the despair her family went through when her nephew was put on life support immediately after birth – and how he has gone on to defy the odds.
Jade Tait, (22), took on the 5k course at the Great Eastern Run in Peterborough to raise money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), which has supported her family since the arrival of Clayton-Jay, now four, on Christmas Day in 2012.
Clayton-Jay has cerebral palsy, brain damage, suffers from epileptic seizures and has to be fed through a tube.
Jade explained: “When my sister, Nicole, was giving birth [at Colchester General Hospital] everything was great, we had a healthy baby boy on the way, but sadly he didn’t take his first breath once he was born and didn’t get enough oxygen to his brain, which doctors say could be why he is the way he is.
“Clayton was taken to a special care unit and at 3am to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for the best care. Sadly, Nicole couldn’t go with him as she had a high temperature.
“My mum and I stayed with my sister until 7am, when she was alright to go home. They then went straight to Cambridge, where they spent 17 days until Clayton was well enough to come off life support and come home. We’re truly thankful to everyone at the hospital.”
Staff from EACH visited the family at Addenbrooke’s and helped them make a memory box in case Clayton didn’t pull through.
They have been there to provide care and support ever since, and Jade is in no doubt about the importance of the charity’s service.
“EACH gives my mum, Clayton’s primary carer, day and weekend respite [at The Treehouse, EACH’s Ipswich hospice]. It gives my mum peace of mind knowing Clayton is in great hands and being well looked after.
“Without EACH mum says she wouldn’t be able to look after Clayton to the best of her ability. Staff have always been friendly and helpful when my family have needed them.”
Clayton has just started school at Shorefields in Clacton-on-Sea, where he lives with nan Sandy, Nicole, 20, and his brother Hunter, three.
Jade said: “Clayton is now starting to do things we were told he would never do, like moving his arms and legs about. He is an amazing boy and we don’t know what we’d do without him in our lives.
“Hunter loves him so much and always tries to help by giving him water and pressing the button on his feeding machine.”
Jade works at Screwfix in Peterborough and lives in the city with husband Tom.
She said of her run: “I’d only been running about nine months before the 5k – which was great and I completed in 40 minutes. I started in order to get fit and someone I train with suggested taking part in the Great Eastern Run. I thought I should see if I could help a good cause in the process and then I thought of EACH, because of the help it’s provided my family.”