A WIGAN teenager who was born 14 weeks premature is doing a sky dive to help raise money for the hospital unit which helped him survive.
Alex Winstanley, 19, of Whitley, is preparing to jump out of a plane in aid of the Special Care Baby Unit at Wigan Hospital after both he and his younger sister, Megan, were born prematurely.
Alex weighed just 2lb when he was born 19 years ago and 16-year-old Megan was born at 29 weeks, weighing 2lb 11oz.
Now the Edge Hill University student wants to raise as much money as possible to say thank you.
He said: “The unit looked after me a lot as I could have died, so I feel a owe the staff a lot.
“I had a lot of health problems when I was born. I had to stay in hospital quite a while.
“I could not open my eyes properly and my skin was really thin. I had a 50 per cent chance of survival.
“A lot of people in my situation have health problems later on in life, but I am fine now.
“I feel nervous now that I know I am doing the sky dive but I am looking forward to it because it is for a good cause and is close to my heart and my family.”
Alex’s mum, Gwen, 48, said: “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.”
Alex, who is also in a band - The Klang - will do his tandem sky dive at Black Knights Parachute Centre, in Cockerham, Lancashire, on November 5.
To sponsor Alex, call him on 07917 221503.