Longcroft mum raises thousands after relying on neonatal services

Tabitha weighed just 1lb 8oz when she was born at 24 weeks
Tabitha weighed just 1lb 8oz when she was born at 24 weeks

When Tabitha Rutherford was born four months early, neonatal staff worked a miracle to keep her alive.

Since then mum Amanda has been tirelessly fundraising for the unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Amanda, from Longcroft, founded the Tiny Tabitha Fund following her daughter’s birth in 2007.

Tabitha is now a cheeky six-year-old and a pupil at Bonnybridge Primary School. Although she suffers from chronic lung disease and requires oxygen, Amanda appreciates how fortunate the family is.

A child and family worker, she said: “When Tabitha was born in Stirling she weighed 1lb 8oz. She was so tiny and delicate she had to be covered in bubble wrap and was 20 days old before I could cuddle her.

“She was in neonatal for months, so bringing her home was extra special and I wanted to give something back.”

Amanda has raised £24,000 with the help of a team of volunteers, which includes son John Blackhall (26) who ran a marathon and completed a Tough Mudder challenge.

The money has provided holistic therapies, bought weighted gloves to give cuddles, wraps that hold baby in the proper position on a parent and comforters that hold a mother’s scent to reassure them. All have proved to help early babies develop.

The charity also pays for premature baby massage classes, which help parents bond and provide vital skin-to-skin contact for the infants.

Visit www.facebook.com/tiny-tabitha-fund for information on the charity.