Stacey and baby Darcey2.jpegAn Olympic ice skating couple - whose baby was cared for in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle - will get their skates on to raise cash for the ward.

David and Stacey King, from Carlisle, had a hugely successful ice skating career which included national titles and appearances at two Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi.

Stacey and David ice stars.jpegFollowing retirement from competitive skating, the couple started a family. However, complications arose when Stacey contracted sepsis while she was pregnant with her daughter, Darcey.

David, a dad-of-three, said: “Darcey’s arrival was brought on early due to Stacey’s strong medication for sepsis. She arrived almost 10 weeks premature.”

Darcey was born on June 16, 2020 in the middle of the Covid pandemic and spent nine weeks in SCBU.

On January 26, David and Stacey are opening the prestigious Trophee D’Ecosse Challenger International competition at the Dumfries Icebowl and are giving their fee to SCBU, as well as hoping to raise awareness of the work that the staff do.

“We just want to raise the profile of the unit and to just try and give back, in our own way,” said David.

“It was such a tough time with Covid. Restrictions were at a high and I wasn’t even allowed to see Stacey. I had an hour a day with Darcey. And yet the care and professionalism the team displayed was above and beyond my expectations.

“We remember seeing posters at SCBU saying how you could donate and we didn’t realise that they raised funds to buy incubators and other equipment to help save babies lives.

“At the Challenger event, we will be donating our performance fee and as part of our contract, collection buckets will be at the event throughout the weekend. All donations will go to SCBU.”

The couple, who are part time ice skating coaches, have two other children – Ethan is six and Sienna is four. All of their children were born at the Cumberland Infirmary.

Amanda Kennett, Associate Director and Head of Midwifery at NCIC, said: “We would like to thank David and Stacey for raising awareness of our Special Care Baby Unit and wish them all the best for their event next week.

“Funds raised via our charity for SCBU help the unit buy equipment for babies. We are very grateful to David and Stacey for wanting to give something back after the help and care received on SCBU. Thank you.”Darcey ice skating.jpeg

Ben Frampton, Matron for Women and Children’s at NCIC, said: “We are pleased to hear that Stacey, David and Darcey are all doing well. SCBU provides a lifesaving service for many newborn babies and we are grateful to anyone who chooses to raise money for the unit. The support of the public is amazing and we are very grateful to any family who wants to give something back.”

Funds will be donated to the North Cumbria Hospitals NHS Charity who have a fund specifically for SCBU. 

Find out more about raising funds for our charity, or like our North Cumbria NHS Hospitals charity page on Facebook.

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