A HEARTBROKEN family whose premature baby boy died after just 31 days have vowed to create a legacy in his name.
Claire and Kelvin Briggs, from Washington, were left devastated when little Alfie lost his battle for life.
Now the tiny tot’s mum and dad are channelling their grief into raising money for other brave youngsters in Sunderland Royal’s Neonatal Unit.
University of Sunderland student, Claire, 28, had to undergo an emergency Caesarean section in November at just under 25 weeks pregnant and her son was born weighing 1lb 7oz.
At 10 days old he had minor heart surgery, his condition continued to improve and he was doing really well.
However, on December 5, the tiny youngster suddenly became ill and doctors discovered he was suffering from a serious condition, necrotizing enterocolitis, which caused his bowel to perforate.
Claire and roofer Kelvin, 25, who have two daughters Alix, five, and two-year-old Paige, were given the devastating news there was nothing more that could be done to save their son.
The hearbroken mum said: “I can’t describe what it felt like when we were told he wasn’t going to make it.
“We decided to withdraw his care and just held him for his last half an hour.
“Alfie was amazing, he was really stubborn. From the day I had him, he battled every obstacle put in front of him.
“I can’t believe someone so small could be so strong and determined.”
Claire, who lives in Columbia, said setting up a charity, Just For Alfie, has helped her cope with her grief and they have already raised more than £3,500 through various events.
She said: “Although I wouldn’t swap having Alfie for the world, I would do it all again, having a baby in the unit is really hard. But the staff at Sunderland’s Neonatal Unit were absolutely wonderful. I can’t express in words how grateful we are to them for the care they gave Alfie, they did everything they possibly could for him and us.”
The next fund-raising event, a children’s disco, will take place on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm in The Stella pub in Albany. Cost is £1 for adults and 50p for children, and there will be activities such as face painting.