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Hornchurch seven-year-old takes it upon himself to raise money for Queen's Hospital's neo-natal ward

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 November 2017

Henry O'Keefe, 7, visited Queen's Hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit to present the money he had raised himself. Photo: BHRUT

Henry O'Keefe, 7, visited Queen's Hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit to present the money he had raised himself. Photo: BHRUT

Archant

A caring seven-year-old decided to raise money for babies born early at Queen's Hospital after a television advert made him realise his baby brother could also have been born premature.

Henry O’Keefe, was so upset when he saw an advert for nappies for premature babies that he decided to do something about it.

The ingenious youngster saw the moving advert, by Pampers for its smallest ever nappy, during his summer holidays, and was particularly affected because he has a baby brother, 19-month-old Lewis.

His mum, Frances, said: “He asked me what would have happened if Lewis had been born prematurely, so we talked about hospitals, and how they help babies born too soon, and that’s when he decided to raise money for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at our local hospital.”

Henry, of The Avenue, Hornchurch, immediately set about making a colourful collection pot and it wasn’t long before he was asking his family for donations.

In no time at all, the big brother had raised around £50, some of which he spent on special premature baby clothes.

Then, he and his mum visited the NICU at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford. run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), to hand over his clothes and present the donation.

The money he raised was presented to the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity and will be spent on more clothes or equipment for the NICU.

The clothes he had helped choose with mum Frances, 35, were gratefully received by nurses on the unit.

During his time at the hospital, the St Mary’s Catholic Primary School pupil was given a tour of the NICU where he was able to see the tiny babies he was helping, and even speak to some of their parents.

He said: “I was excited to come to the hospital and give my donation to the nurses.

“I was really pleased with the money I raised and mummy helped me choose the clothes. We’ve been learning about raising money for charity at school so I’m glad I did this by myself.”

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