LITTLE fighter Finley Jones almost died seven times after developing a rare virus at just a week old.
Parents David and Victoria Jones were devastated when their only child contracted parecho virus which led to him developing encephalitis, a potentially lethal swelling of the brain.
The Grangetown youngster spent a week on a life support machine as his parents mounted a bedside vigil.
But despite his ordeal, Finley has fought back to become a healthy, happy nine-month-old.
Turn to Page 4
Dad David, 29, of Westheath Avenue, said: “It was an awful time.
“At first, the doctors and nurses were really frustrated because they didn’t know what was wrong with him.
“He was taking fits and having mini seizures where he stopped breathing and he had to be revived six or seven times. It means that he was deprived of oxygen and two parts of his brain were damaged because of that.
“It’s now a waiting game to find out whether that will affect him long term or, because his brain is so young, if it can bypass the damaged parts.”
Finley was born healthy on July 8 last year at Sunderland Royal Hospital but a week later started to develop a temperature.
David and Victoria, 29, rushed their new born to the Royal before he was taken to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Newcastle General where he was put on a life support machine as staff battled to save him.
Now David, a hairdresser at DJ’s Gents Hairdressers in Concord, Washington, is undertaking a gruelling challenge to raise funds for the PICU which helped Finley.
He said: “They saved my son’s life and I want to give something back to them and raise awareness of what the unit does.
The staff were brilliant. Finley received all the care and support he needed to bring him back to good health.
“Finley is doing really well now. He’s very mischievous and has a proper little character. He has started crawling and giving high-fives. He’s mint.”
David will cycle from Newcastle General to Sunderland Royal Hospital on July 24. He will then run from the Chester Road hospital to Penshaw Monument before running up and down Penshaw hill fifty times and cycling back to Newcastle.
Sponsor forms are available at DJ’s Gents Hairdressers, off Front Street, or you can donate at www.justgiving.com/david-jones8710