Sunderland parents of battling girl backing Halloween event to support charity close to their hearts

Rebecca Lawton.
Rebecca Lawton.
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A Sunderland family is backing a Halloween event to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts.

The Potter family, from Ryhope, will be joining others at Dalton Park’s Trick or Treat Trail on Friday to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.

The Lawton family.

The Lawton family.

Mum Amanda Lawton, said she and partner Will Potter could never thank the charity enough for their support when their youngest daughter Rebecca was battling for life in Newcastle’s RVI.

The charity funds home from home accomodation, Crawford House, next to the hospital, where families of seriously ill youngsters can stay.

Amanda gave birth to Rebecca just 33 weeks into her pregnancy, because the tot was failing to grow.

She weighed just over 3lb but it wasn’t long before she was allowed home.

We want to help raise money for other families

Amanda Lawton

However, six days later, the tiny baby took a turn for the worse and stopped breathing. She had developed a chest infection and was on a ventilator at the Newcastle hospital for three weeks while medics battled to save her.

Thankfully, Rebecca pulled through and is now a thriving 11-month-old, but Amanda, who is also mum to William, five, Emily, four, and two-year-old Matthew, said she and chef Will, 34, could not have coped without Crawford House, where she had a private room and access to kitchen, laundry and playroom facilities.

Amanda, 37, said: “The Sick Children’s Trust helped our family in a way we don’t think we could ever repay. Without the charity, I wouldn’t have been able to spend every minute of every day with my baby girl while she fought for her life.

“I had somewhere to lay my head – maybe not even to sleep – but to take time and know that I was just minutes away from my daughter and could be there in no time at all in case the worst happened. This took a large amount of worry and stress away during an unbelievable situation.

“For three weeks it really was touch and go. We thought we may lose our baby and Crawford House helped us when we were frankly going through hell.

“During that time, we were in a beautiful house, with lovely staff - even just a ‘good morning’ from the staff as you walked out to face another uncertain day helped.”

Although Rebecca is still on oxygen she has recovered remarkably well.

Amanda said: “Now, we want to help raise money for other families who may find themselves in such a heart-breaking situation.

“The Sick Children’s Trust is a cause which is very close to all of our family and we know they need all the fundraising they can get to help parents and families like ours.”

Families taking part in Dalton Park’s Trick or Treat Trail tomorrow (Friday, October 28) are being encouraged to dress up in their spookiest fancy dress.

To find out more about The Sick Children’s Trust, visit: www.sickchildrenstrust.org.