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Your Champions: Louise Purcell nominated for tireless Countess fundraising

Mum-of-three was inspired to thank the hospital which cared for her premature daughter

Louise Purcell from Mickle Trafford with daughter Beatrice

A mother who dedicated herself to fundraising for the Countess of Chester Hospital has been nominated for Champion Person of the Year in Your Champions.

Louise Purcell, from Mickle Trafford, wanted to thank the hospital which cared for her premature daughter.

Baby Beatrice was born three months prematurely weighing just 2lb 13oz.

Mum-of-three Louise was inspired by the care she received and poured her efforts into supporting the Countess’s Babygrow Appeal, which will fund a new £3 million neonatal unit.

Beatrice, now four, was kept in an incubator and fed with a syringe in her first weeks but went on to make a full recovery.

Louise said: “There were no baby beds in Chester for my Bea when she was born.

“She had to spend three weeks in Arrowe Park Hospital, which was a 30 minutes away, before we could transfer to Chester.

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“It felt so much better once we moved because it was a five-minute walk away.

“People often don’t realise how long premature babies have to spend in hospital and it’s the worst thing for a parent not to have their little one with them.

“It also meant my other children Nia and Lydia could come over and spend more time with Bea.”

Beatrice Purcell in an incubator in a special care baby unit

Louise was nominated for the Cheshire Woman of the Year award by the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in March.

The events coordinator explained why she was so impressed by the staff at the Countess.

She said: “During Bea’s six-week stay I was welcome any time day or night.

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“The staff would buy a cake and decorate the unit to celebrate when families had been there for 100 days and do everything to make you feel at home.

“That’s what encouraged me to get involved with fundraising once Bea’s condition was stable.”

Louise used her talents from work to organise events including a fashion show, Christmas concerts and a ladies lunch at the Duke of Westminster’s estate.

Champion Person of the Year is awarded to a man or woman who is making the most significant contribution to their community.

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For more information on the Babygrow Appeal go to coch.nhs.uk.

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