A RUNCORN optician has launched a £5,000 fundraising campaign to thank nurses for saving his baby’s life.

Chris Graham has pledged to buy new ventilators and monitors for the special care baby unit at Warrington Hospital.

Nurses Julia Austin and Lynsey Arnold looked after his daughter, Sophia when she needed urgent care shortly after she was born in September last year.

Chris, aged 31, said: “When Sophia was feeding for the first time, she went blue and lifeless. It was really scary. A nurse took her to the neo natal unit, put her on a drip of antibiotics and in an incubator on oxygen for 36 hours.

“It was a rollercoaster the first few days.

“My wife’s waters broke 40 hours before she gave birth. They think Sophia somehow got an infection during labour.”

Sophia, born weighing 7lb 12 oz, has now made a full recovery.

Chris, director of Specsavers in Runcorn Shopping Centre and his team are planning various fundraising events to mark the store’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

He lives in Warrington with his wife, Rosalyn, aged 31, and raised £250 at Sophia’s recent christening.

Chris added: “The neo natal nurses were brilliant. It is nice to pay them back. Sophia is a happy, lovely little girl. We want to get as much equipment qas we can to help other children.”

Neo-natal nurse Lynsey Arnold said: “We’re thrilled that Chris and the Specsavers team have chosen to raise this money towards further improving the services at the neo-natal unit.

“We’re committed to ensuring that the babies are provided with an excellent service, with their care always being our number one priority.

“Having the support of the local community makes the world of difference. It was wonderful to catch up with Chris and Sophia and to see how well she is doing.”