Parents of tiny premature baby forever grateful to Leeds hospital for lifesaving care

The parents of a  premature baby born weighing just  2lb 12oz and with complex medical issues say they will  be forever grateful to the doctors and nurses who saved his life.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 29th November 2020, 5:10 pm
Premature baby Archie Burns being cared for on the neonatal unit at Leeds Chdilren's Hospital.

Archie Burns was tiny and vulnerable when he was born ten weeks early at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield on August 17.

His oesophagus was not connected to his stomach and his stomach was connected to his windpipe.

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Archie is now a healthy three monhs old baby

He was transferred to Leeds Children's hospital where surgeons corrected the problems during three operations.

Archie spent two weeks in an incubator on the neonatal intensive care unit at Leeds Children's Hospital and grew from strength to strength

Archie, who was in hospital for around nine weeks, is now a healthy three month old 7lb 1oz baby and is back at home in Fitzwilliam near Pontefract with mum Emma Bailey and dad Chris Burns.

Chris said: "We see the nurses, doctors and surgeons as Archie's first family, Emma and I will forever be in their debt.

Baby Archie pictured with dad Chris Burns and mum Emma Bailey

"Only really now that Archie has grown to a normal birth weight', we realise just how vulnerable he was when he was born at 2lb 12oz, 10 weeks prematurely back in August.

"We are so lucky to have the unbelievably skilful and knowledgeable NHS staff looking after our little boy.”

Archie will still be under the care of the hospital for his first couple of years for corrective surgeries, but should grow to lead a perfectly happy and healthy life.

And Leeds hospitals' charity Leeds Cares has thanked more than 1,200 people who donated to an urgent equipment appeal for the neonatal unit.

Premature baby Archie Burns on the neonatal unit at Leeds Chdilren's Hospital with dad Chris.

Donations have gone towards buying a new high tech £24,000 'Baby Leo' incubator.

Neonatal unit consultant Chris Forster raised more than £7,800 towards the cost of the incubator by completing a 15-hour cycling challenge with cash donated to his JustGiving page.

The incubator is now due to arrive at the Neonatal Unit at the end of January.

Chris Burns said: “We’re absolutely over the moon that the appeal has raised enough to buy a new incubator for the ward."

Dr Lawrence Miall, consultant on the neonatal unit, said "We are thrilled that we’re receiving this specialist piece of equipment which will improve the care and support we can provide to premature babies in Leeds.

"I mentioned at the start of this appeal that throughout my career I’ve always been struck by the kindness and generosity of the people of Leeds, and once again they have proven me right."

- The Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Fund has also supplied a new high tech 'Baby Leo' incubator to the neonatal intensive care unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

The new incubator, which was provided thanks to generous donations to the Children's Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), is the latest in neonatal technology.

The Leeds-based CHSF provides vital funding to support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, at LGI, in becoming a world class centre of excellence for children and adults with congenital heart disease.

This year, as the charity sets itself the impressive fundraising target of £1m, the YEP is issuing a clarion call to Leeds residents to Have A Heart and help back its bid.

The charity has helped the unit by footing bills for life-saving medical equipment, parent accommodation, vital ward resources, staff training, scientific research and new clinical roles.

To donate: Visit to give a one-off donation or to set up a regular, direct debit donation.

Or pay cheques to: Children’s Heart Surgery Fund at 3 Oxford Place, Leeds, LS1 3AX.