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Family fundraises to mark day of tragedy
Buy this photo » Emma Radley, centre, with daughter Eva and friends and family at the charity abseil in memory of William
A COUPLE marked the first anniversary of their son’s death by raising thousands of pounds in his memory.
William Radley was born in May last year with heart and lung problems and was cared for at the neo- natal unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital .
He had been making good progress and his parents Emma, 34, and Steven, 37, who work at Oxford Brookes University , had hoped they would be able to take him home.
But, aged four-and-a-half months, William caught an infection and died on September 20 last year.
Mr and Mrs Radley, who also have a daughter Eva, three, pledged to raise cash as a thank-you to the hospital for its care.
So far, friends and family have raised about £24,000, from events including the London Marathon, a buggy walk and the abseil.
Their latest effort, on Sunday, saw 30 friends and family members, wearing T-shirts with a picture of William on, fundraising at the Oxford hospital.
They joined Mrs Radley to abseil 100ft down the side of the hospital’s women’s centre.
The group raised almost £8,000 for the hospital’s Fund for Children charity.
Mrs Radley, from Witney, said: “It was phenomenal. We were aiming for 20 of us each raising £100.
“We approached a few and then people started coming to us.
“We have been raising money for the neo-natal intensive care unit because they were the people who really turned William around. When he was born he didn’t look like he would make it through the night.
“Without them we would not have had any time with him.
“We have so many people to thank.”
A total of 110 people braved the cold and rain to abseil down the side of the women’s centre at the hospital. Other teams included a dozen staff from Raymond Blanc’s Great Milton hotel and restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. They signed up for the abseil after a group of sick children from the Oxford Children’s Hospital visited the restaurant.
Twenty-two people also went over the top to fundraise for SSNAP, the charity which supports the JR’s special care baby unit.
Children’s hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said the event was expected to raise £20,000.
She said: “It was cold and wet and all these people have turned up and a lot have overcome big fears to take part.
“Everyone was clapping and cheering as they came down.”
Keith Green, from Bartlett Close in Witney, also took part in the abseil but could not wear a huge nappy as he had promised due to a mix-up.
Mr Green has raised £1,000 since his twins Oscar and Harry were born prematurely. Harry, unfortunately died, while Oscar was kept in special care for three months.