GRATEFUL parents who had to rush their newborn son to hospital for lifesaving surgery have thanked the charity which helped them stay by their little fighter’s side.

Mark and Poppy Dean, from Walton, experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when their son David was whisked off to the Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, at just a few hours old.

Born at Colchester General Hospital, David experienced a number of seizures and it quickly became apparent he needed immediate, specialist medical attention.

For five days, David fought for his life on the neonatal intensive care unit at Cambridge, before his transfer back to Colchester.

He was taken home for the first time at just a week old.

During his treatment in Cambridge, the couple were given free accommodation at Chestnut House, run by the Sick Children’s Trust.

Now the relieved parents are giving something back, raising £6,000 and sharing their story at an annual carol service for the trust.

Mark said: “Without the trust, the already overwhelming circumstances would have been a lot worse.

“We had only been with David for a few hours before he was taken away from us.

“It had been a difficult birth and Poppy needed care herself, so it wasn’t until the following morning that we were able to be with David. It was an incredibly worrying time as nobody knew what was causing the seizures and what was wrong.

“It felt like our whole world had been turned upside.”

Mark added: “In the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty, the Sick Children’s Trust held out a hand and gave us a place to stay, which was just minutes from our son’s side.”

The service takes place at St Marylebone Church, London, on Wednesday at 6.30pm.