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Hospital play area is given a £4000 boost

By Val Sweeney

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A GRATEFUL father and his employer have donated £4550 to help create an all-weather outdoor play area for young patients at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Insurance broker Gareth Vaughan and his partner Ruth Stormont have spent time at the Highland Children’s Unit since the birth of their second child, Carys.

Now aged 18 months, she was born 10 weeks prematurely, weighing just 2lb 4oz and with amniotic band syndrome resulting in one of her feet being amputated at birth.

She also developed holes in her heart and feeding problems requiring her to be tube fed.

Much of her young life has included spells at the Highland Children’s Unit, the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

Mr Vaughan (35) raised £350 by holding a bake sale at Towergate Insurance in Inverness, part of the Ardonagh Group whose charitable arm, the Ardonagh Community Trust, added match funding of £200 and also agreed a £4000 grant.

Mr Vaughan said Raigmore’s outside play area had helped the family, including son Ben, to be together the most.

“A hospital ward isn’t a place for a two-year-old and it wasn’t very practical,” he said.

“We didn’t want him bringing in bugs from outside – or having the chance of him catching anything.

“That’s why the play area is invaluable.”

But it was also exposed and so after hearing about the Archie Foundation’s £100,000 Fresh Air appeal to create a year-round outdoor area, he wanted to help.

“I wanted to give something back for the help they gave us,” he said.

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