Stallions’ Italian job
To thank neonatal team
Christopher Agnew and Neil McCutcheon (left) show off their ‘Banger Italia’ car to the neonatal team at Wishaw General Hospital.
Two friends undertook a real Italian job with a road trip to Rimini to thank staff at Wishaw General Hospital.
Christopher Agnew and Neil McCutcheon, otherwise known as the Flaming Hot Stallions, took part in the ‘Banger Italia’ and handed over £3200 to staff at the neonatal unit.
Christopher (27), from Hamilton, said: “We chose to raise money for the Wishaw General neonatal unit as this is a place close to my heart.
“My wife and I cannot thank the staff enough for the care and support they gave to our wee boy Sam.
“Sam wouldn't have come on as well or maybe he wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the amazing staff at the Wishaw General neonatal unit and for this we will be forever grateful.”
Christopher, who works for Evans Halshaw Ford in Motherwell, and Neil, a taxi driver from Glasgow, drove from Hamilton to Rimini and back in a 15 year old Passat they bought for £200.
Although the car had over 190,000 miles on the clock, the pair spent months working on it to make sure it would complete the journey. They also customised the car by decorating it in a fire engine theme in honour of Sam’s favourite TV show - Fireman Sam.
The pair started the gruelling journey by heading to Folkstone and getting the ferry to Calais. After this it was a marathon journey through France, Germany and Switzerland before crossing the border into Italy – taking in the famous Stelvio Pass.
The whole trip there and back saw the pair of car enthusiasts clock up a total of 3245 miles in one week.
Christopher’s wife Jennifer (29) said: “Christopher has always said that he wanted to do something to give back to the neonatal unit. We feel if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have our son here today.”
Sam was born at 37.5 weeks via emergency C section due to Jennifer suffering severe pre-eclampsia.
Doctors and nurses had to fight for hours to save Sam's life. None of his organs were working due to the trauma at birth. He was put on a ventilator and had therapeutic hypothermia carried out.
Sam was closely monitored for a few days and it was discovered that he had very little brain activity. He was taken to Yorkhill Children's hospital for an MRI and EEG scan. The results showed Sam had a bleed to a few sections of his brain. He spent a further four weeks in the neonatal unit at Wisahw General before going home with mum and dad.
Jennifer explained: “Christopher and I were told that the first few days would be vital and that Sam may not survive. However, the therapeutic hypothermia process worked, and he became stable.
“All in he spent four weeks in the neonatal unit and we wanted to raise money to thank the staff for saving our little boy and for the care he received during his time there.
“The staff give so much care, compassion and support to sick babies and their families; they helped us get through the worst experience of our lives.”
Sheila Miller, neonatal unit ward manager, said: “We are always delighted when parents and families who have spent time in our unit decide to raise money to help others going through a similar experience.
“In all my years in the unit, this must be one of the most unique fundraising methods. The fact that Christopher and Neil were prepared to take a week off work to travel across Europe and back in a £200 car to raise funds for the neonatal unit is a great example the strength of bond that exists between the families and our staff.”