Michael Foudy


The 25th of February 2015 was a normal(ish) Wednesday, I woke up got ready for work and kissed my pregnant wife Clare goodbye and off to London I went to my job in Finance.

Clare had the day off work and was off to the first of many first time parent workshops at the hospital that we had planned, today was breastfeeding so I wasn’t really required plus I was saving my holiday for the impending arrival. I was due to leave work early as we had an event to attend at mothercare in Bluewater that evening. Nothing eventful was happening at work but I was oblivious as The events that were unfolding at home.

Clare wasn’t feeling great at the workshop but had put it down to the kebab we had had the night before for dinner and went home, shortly after arriving home she called the midwife who arranged an ambulance. At this point as far as I knew our respective days were going well. About 1:50 I received a text asking me to come home, I thought to myself she’s bored but I am already leaving early!! That thought was cut short as I then received a distressing call from my wife something wasn’t right with the baby and she was on her way to hospital and I should leave work now.

I left work and headed for the train, I had an hour journey back to Dartford, I was still pretty chilled at this point so what was I supposed to do? watch an episode of Suits of course! I arrived at the hospital and got stuck in traffic in the car park, had I not been in a brand new car I would have abandoned it! I had arrived, I’d made it.... 57 mins later at 4:43 a brand new human entered the world, a human who I had helped to make! But hold on a minute our child wasn’t supposed to be here for another 8 weeks!!

We had nothing ready, had not been to any classes, limited clothes, no nappies the baby shower hadn’t even happened yet!! perhaps I should have used my time on the train more wisely I was just too gripped by suits!

We weren’t prepared, and were definitely weren’t prepared for the start to our journey. Unlike most new parents we weren’t going to go to hospital give birth and leave with our baby, the start to our new life together was going down a different route. Up until now no one had mentioned a premature birth and why would they, to date we were having the “perfect” pregnancy! But hold on a minute it’s only the 25th of February the baby was not due for 2 months would it be ok!! We hadn’t even found out the sex of our new child, how much it weighed, how tall it was as the doctors, nurses and midwives were all very busy dealing with the new very tiny human. We eventually found out that we’d had a baby boy, our Frank.

We wanted a surprise and “boy” did we get one, just as well as we had a boy as we couldn’t really agree on a girls name, but Frank was our choice from very early in our pregnancy. So here he was 8 weeks early, couldn’t wait to meet us, our tiny bundle of joy was quite poorly but was in the amazing hands of some truly special people. This was the start of our journey with the “angels” that work with all the little buds at Darent Valley hospital. We were unaware of the journey ahead of us, there were lots of tears, we had so many questions and to be brutally honest the main question would he live or die? it was the most harrowing time of our lives when this was supposed to be the most happiest and defining but here we were. The next 3 weeks and 5 days were spent inside the hospital walls they were the hardest and trying of my life.

We were helped through this time by Friends and Family and the hope that our little boy was getting stronger and better each day, however we would have never made it through without the equipment on offer and the expertise, love and support of the very special people who work on the delivery suite and Walnut Ward at Darent Valley Hospital. There little touches like the card my wife was made for her first ever Mother’s Day whilst we were there really made a huge difference to this trying but special time.

Fast forward the best 4 years of my life and here we are, Frank is an amazing young man, and I am privileged and honoured to have shared an extra 8 weeks with him and I’m so proud to Be able to call him my son. In honour of him, his fight and the work of the people of Walnut Ward SCBU (who do this day in day out everyday) I am running the 2019 London Marathon and with your help hope to raise some well deserved funding to continue their amazing work and so that more people have these happy endings in the future. It could have been so very different, we know how lucky we are and we will never be able to say “Frank you” enough but I’d like to try and give a little bit back x

Thank you for reading, and if you can please dig deep.

Lots of love Michael, Clare and Frank Foudy x

Michael Foudy