Student completes a skydive for hospital

Left to right: Lynsey Barbour Wharmby, Kirsty Unsworth, Allison Kurfurst, Lauren Bird, Kathryn Leatherbarrow, Julie Armstrong, Vicky Gordon and Alex Winstanley
Left to right: Lynsey Barbour Wharmby, Kirsty Unsworth, Allison Kurfurst, Lauren Bird, Kathryn Leatherbarrow, Julie Armstrong, Vicky Gordon and Alex Winstanley
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A WIGAN student has raised hundreds of pounds for a hospital which saved his life when he was born.

Alex Winstanley, 19, donated £600 to the Neo Natal Unit at Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary after the adrenaline junkie sky-dived at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham.

Alex was born 14 weeks premature and weighed just 2lb when he was born 19 years ago.

He spent 10 weeks at the special baby unit which was then based at Billinge Hospital.

His sister, 16-year-old Megan was born at 29 weeks, weighing 2lb 11oz and also cared for at the unit.

The Edge Hill University student, who is also a member of The Klang, was sponsored by friends and family, hospital staff and the under 12s team at Wigan St Patrick’s Amateur Rugby League Football Club who he helps to coach.

Alex said: “I have to be honest and say I have never been more scared of doing something, especially when I was up in the plane and the doors opened!

“I had to watch three other people take their turns and jump.

“It was pretty weird to watch them disappear, which just increased the anticipation.

“However, it was the most indescribable feeling I’ve ever felt.

“It was absolutely brilliant and I would probably do it again, just not for a while!

“The Neo Natal Unit here at Wigan is really close to the hearts of me and my family, and I wanted to give something back to the unit who helped both me and my sister, when we were babies.”

Alex’s mum Gwen, 48, added: “When Alex was born I thought he was going to die.

“He had wafer thin skin and his eyes were still fused together.

“When Megan was born it was slightly different as the extra three weeks made a difference.

“The special care unit was fantastic.

“When my waters broke I was able to hold on from giving birth for a few days and I was given steroids which helped develop Alex’s lungs.

“Alex may not have survived if I had not been given steroids.

“What upset me the most was the fact that I could not take him home. But I feel extremely lucky.

“The staff work so hard at the unit and they make the parents feel at ease. They deserve all the help and recognition they get.”