A YOUNG mother whose baby spent 17 days in a special care unit when delivered early because she had contracted meningitis while pregnant has climbed Kilimanjaro to raise thousands for charity.
Nikki Bremner, from Nairn, had always wanted to give something back to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after her son Archie spent almost three weeks there following his birth four years ago.
Nikki and her friend Nicola Douglas agreed that a charity climb up Mount Kilimanjaro would be a good way to raise funds - with half the money raised going to SCBU on behalf of the Bremner family and the other half going to the Archie Foundation, the charity of choice by Nicola for the care her family has received over the years.
Nikki said: “I’ve always wanted to do something for the unit as they were so good to us when Archie was born.
“I contracted meningitis when I was pregnant with Archie and was so ill it was agreed that he needed to be delivered four and a half weeks early.
“The staff in SCBU did such a great job of looking after all of us I’ve always wanted to do something to say thank you.”
A mammoth fundraising effort was soon put in to place which included a knees up at Bogbain Farm that raised £6000 as well as bake sales, charity collections in town and at football matches and the total soon hit £21,000, which has been split 50/50 for the two causes.
Nikki and Nicola climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in February this year after months of training which included a lot of walking and altitude training to prepare them for the challenge ahead.
Nikki, who described the climb as “amazing”, and her family visited SCBU to hand over the donation and to allow Archie and his big sister Olivia, 6, get a tour of the unit that took such good care of him when he was born.
Nikki said: “It’s great to be able to donate this sum of money to SCBU and for Archie and Olivia to see the unit and the work that they do.”
Mary Law, senior charge nurse for SCBU, said: “We are always so grateful for the donations we receive and it is always good to see how well our former patients are doing when they come to visit us.
“This is an amazing sum of money that Nikki has raised and we really can’t thank her enough. We will ensure it is put to good use.”