AFTER their daughter was born prematurely, a family want to raise funds for the ‘amazing’ hospital staff who looked after her.

Arabella Ivy Haywood is now a healthy, happy seven-week-old baby - and parents Paige Heyworth and Ben Haywood say her birth, at 32 weeks, could have been a much more worrying time if not for the hard work of Barnsley Hospital’s neonatal unit.

Ben, along with brother Joe and dad Dave, is hoping a mammoth 32km walk from Leeds to Barnsley tomorrow is a suitable way to say thank you to midwives, nurses and surgeons who helped the couple and their daughter.

And the fact they’ll be doing the walk dressed as giant babies should see them get plenty of attention along the way.

“The staff were fantastic - like a second family,” said Paige, 27, of Morrison Road, Darfield. “We’re not sure exactly why Arabella was born prematurely, at the minute.

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“They were so caring and kept us up to date with what was going on.”

Arabella was in hospital for 19 days, eight of which Paige and Ben were able to stay over.

“We can’t thank the ward enough for looking after us both,” added Paige. “In your day-to-day life, you don’t think about all the work that goes on. It’s a really scary time, but the longer you’re there the more you understand what goes on.”

The family’s fundraiser is currently at £1,400, and with the money they hope to fund mattresses for other families and special incubator gloves so they can hold their babies while they’re being cared for.