'We really needed Bliss' - Ethan's run for premature baby charity

Ethan Blumsom-Kings run for Bliss

Ethan Blumsom-Kings has been running around his garden every day through April for Bliss. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

An eight-year-old boy who weighed just 1lb 7oz when he was born has pulled on his running shoes to boost the cause giving other premature babies a fighting chance. 

Ethan Blumsom-Kings, from Hardingham, was born at 26 weeks and spent more than 90 days in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's NICU unit. 

During those emotional first months, his parents Laura and Sean received support from the premature baby charity Bliss and have continued to follow its work eight years after they needed it.

Ethan Blumsom-Kings with his mum Laura

Ethan Blumsom-Kings with his mum Laura are raising awareness of Bliss. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

When Ethan turned eight in March he decided he would run a lap of the family's garden in Hardingham every day throughout April - the month his parents said they needed Bliss the most.

Mrs Blumsom-Kings said: "It was surprising I had a very normal pregnancy up until that point. I didn't feel right and I said I think I'm in labour.

"He was in ok condition, he was very little and he had difficulty breathing and they wanted to make sure he was going to be able to breathe.

"He was whisked away from us and we saw 12 hours later in NICU. 

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"He was very red and see through. There were lots of wires and a machine was helping him breathe."

"You would never know, he is incredibly healthy and we know how very lucky to not have any underlying conditions."

Every five minutes, a baby is admitted to neonatal care in the UK, with Bliss providing emotional and practical support to families with premature or sick babies.

Ethan Blumsom-Kings with his mum Laura

Ethan was 895g when he was born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and is raising money for the charity that supported his parents. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Mrs Blumson-Kings said: "The first month we really needed Bliss. We used this resource to the bone.

"He hates running, he wanted to do something that was difficult for him and it made it a challenge."

The Hingham Primary School pupil has raised £570 so far through his JustGiving page.

The care Mrs Blumson-Kings received led her to make a career change, leaving her job as a retail manager to retrain as a midwife. 

She also volunteers as a breast feeding support in the NICU to help mums with sick babies. 

Mrs Blumson-Kings, who finishes her degree in the next few months, said: "It was almost a little lightbulb moment. I had a wonderful midwife, she still made me feel I was having this normal delivery, it did not feel like an emergency. I was grateful of that care and it made me really empathetic what midwives do."