AN event organiser staged a charity golf challenge inspired by his son’s difficult birth in hospital.

Sam Thomas decided to raise funds for the Rockinghorse charity following the birth of his son Luca.

Born on 2 May 2015 with his twin sister Sienna, Luca suffered a prolapsed cord and required emergency treatment.

He spent four weeks on the Trevor Mann Baby Unit before finally being allowed home.

Now two years old, Luca recently received the all-clear from further treatment and is now healthy happy little boy.

Sam - who works as FirmBalls Managing Director - said: “My wife and I, along with the FirmBalls team, were overwhelmed with the support from so many people to help make my 50 Holes for 50 Years charity challenge a great success.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that sponsored me and supported the event, including those that joined me on the way round – especially Jamie Salvidge from SO Legal who completed all 50 holes with me.

“A very special mention to my good friend James Farrands from HSBC who not only joined me on the day but secured match funding from HSBC to help us raise over £3,000 for this amazing charity.

“We will be forever grateful for the relentless hard work of the doctors and nurses at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit who kept our son alive, and hope that the funds raised from this event will help those whom we literally owe our lives.

“This is just the start of my fundraising journey – see you next year for the 51 Holes challenge!”

FirmBalls is the five-a-side business football leagues company and the 50 Holes for 50 Years challenge saw players take part in 50 holes of golf at three different courses across Sussex in just one day.

The event, in celebration of Rockinghorse’s 50th anniversary, was raising money for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

Participants kick-started their day with 18 holes at Brighton and Hove Golf Club followed by a further 18 holes at Hassocks Golf Club, rounding off the day with a final 14 holes at Mid Sussex Golf Club.

Those taking part were treated to a post-event dinner and presentation,

Sam and his wife Kelly were joined by James Farrands from HSBC for an official cheque presentation picture at the TMBU, based in the Thomas Kemp Tower of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

They presented a cheque to Rockinghorse’s head of fundraising Analiese Doctrove, joined by TMBU neonatal sister Jackie Cherry, who had helped care for Luca when he was on the unit.

Rockinghorse is currently celebrating its Golden Jubilee and has launched the Sussex Giving for Sussex Children appeal.

It aims to raise £500,000 this year to be split between ten children’s centres and paediatric services in Sussex, including the TMBU.

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