Daniel sparks bid to help cots appeal

PUBLISHED: 09:21 26 November 2010

Rowland and Natalie Sells with their son Daniel who was born premature and spent five months in hospital

Rowland and Natalie Sells with their son Daniel who was born premature and spent five months in hospital

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010

MIRACLE baby Daniel Sells had a tough start in life but is now at school and enjoying all the things little boys love.

Now aged four, his parents Natalie and Rowland Sells are grateful every day to the doctors and nurses who saved him and are thrilled with his progress.

Barring a pigeon chest the little lad who lives with his parents and two older brothers in Filby shows few signs of the trauma that accompanied his first five months when his parents were worried he would not see the next day.

Now his struggle has eased the couple, who run a seafront cafe in Great Yarmouth, are striving to raise money for more intensive care baby beds at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Having heard about its £500,000 Cots for Tots appeal Mrs Sells said she wanted to help by launching a fundraising effort.

“Rowland does a lot through the Lions and we wanted to do something but it’s better if you have a group of people.

“Every day we look at Daniel and it is just a miracle he survived. We had his first assembly at the school and it made us a bit tearful because we never thought we would have this with him.”

Scans revealed Daniel was not thriving in the womb and Mrs Sells was told he might die and if not she faced raising a highly dependant child with life-limiting problems.

He was born three months early weighing just 1lb 3oz and his arm could slip through his father’s wedding ring. Fully ventilated and sedated for months, Daniel suffered a string of setbacks including infections and two collapsed lungs before he was finally allowed home after 104 days weighing just over 4lb.

Daniel still has check-ups and faces the slight possibility of an operation to expand his chest to allow his lungs to grow.

Daniel is described by his mother as a gentle, caring, bright and happy little boy who loves sport and Cbeebies. His difficult start in life has not held him back at Filby First School where he is enjoying his first term.

Anyone interested in Mr and Mrs Sells’ fundraising can contact them on 01493 369077 or email

The Norwich neo-natal intensive care unit looks after more than 850 babies a year. The NICU has 28 cots. Demand for specialist care for premature or critically ill babies is rising and the numbers of babies using the Norwich NICU is going up.

The aim is to raise £500,000 to fund the building work and equip the four new cots. To support the Cots for Tots appeal donate online at, or send a cheque payable to the NNUH NHS Foundation Trust with “NICU Cot Expansion Fund F300” written on the back of the cheque to Communications, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY.

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