A PRESTATYN woman is appealing for fundraisers and donations to help a charity which particularly resonates with her after the premature birth of her two twin babies.

Jenny Henning, 31, gave birth to Lyla and Noah six weeks early in August 2019 at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, with both encountering a range of health problems.

Mother-of-four Jenny is now looking to raise money in numerous ways for Bliss, the leading UK charity for babies born premature or sick.

She said: “I've been wanting to fundraise since my twins were born and this is the perfect opportunity.

“Lyla and Noah had a really difficult start in life, coming six weeks early with a long list of medical issues.

Rhyl Journal: (L-R) Lyla, Jenny, Leon Paul (aged three), Noah and Evelyn (aged 11). Photo: Jenny Henning(L-R) Lyla, Jenny, Leon Paul (aged three), Noah and Evelyn (aged 11). Photo: Jenny Henning

“Both had had jaundice and thyroid issues, low birth weights, hearing issues, cow's milk protein allergies and respiratory distress - Noah had to go on a ventilator and have artificial surfactant placed in his lungs.

“Noah had anaemia and silent reflux, and Lyla has talipes which has required casting and leg braces since she was three months old - she still wears her brace at night and will continue to do so until she is five.

“They both contracted meningitis at just five weeks old, which hit Noah particularly hard. I cannot praise Glan Clwyd Hospital enough for their ongoing care and support.

“I have received so much support from family, friends and medical professionals, and I now have four healthy, happy children; I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped us to reach this point.

“We have received support from many organisations over the past couple of years including Women's Aid, MIND and Barnardo’s, and I want to do whatever I can to give something back, so this seems like a good place to start.”

Jenny’s appeal comes ahead of World Prematurity Day, which this year takes place on Wednesday, November 17 and is a global movement to raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families.

Jenny herself will be taking part in Bliss’ own challenge next month, with the target of completing 300,000 steps in November in aid of the charity.

But she is also looking at getting businesses and people from the area involved in other fundraisers for Bliss, and is hoping for help either organising such events or through receiving donations in either prizes to give away or in money.

She is also being assisted by her 11-year-old daughter Evelyn, who is similarly keen to give something back to Bliss and who she described as a ‘rock’ to her.

Rhyl Journal: Evelyn holding Noah in hospital. Photo: Jenny HenningEvelyn holding Noah in hospital. Photo: Jenny Henning

Jenny added: “We’ve had small businesses in the area that have offered to donate raffle prizes. I spoke to Evelyn’s school (Prestatyn High School) and they’re quite happy to help out how they can.

“My daughter’s planning to do a cake sale and we want to do a raffle as well, so we’re thinking of doing a local shopping event for local businesses. If anyone wants to get involved, I’d be more than grateful for any help.

“Fundraising is a nice way to help her to focus on the positives, as she has been through so much. We are both looking at this as the start of our next chapter.

“She’s been such an involved big sister; she’s been a rock to me. It was really hard, but they’re here. We’re the lucky ones; I just want to give a little bit back.

“Bliss give a lot of ongoing support to parents and mums. Some of the babies, you wouldn’t believe they could have been born; they’re so tiny and vulnerable. They understand the impact it has on your life; it changes you forever.”

Every day, 300 babies are admitted to neonatal units around the UK, while Bliss estimates that roughly 60,000 babies (one in 13) are born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) in the UK each year.

To offer a donation to Jenny’s cause, or to get in touch with her, visit her Facebook fundraising page at: www.facebook.com/donate/199877825470877.