A grateful dad has organised a charity football match in Rustington to raise money for the specialist hospital unit that saved his son’s life.
Around 30 friends of Angmering Football Club defender Matt Woodward have signed up for his game at Rustington Sports and Social Club on Saturday at 11am.
The aim is to raise £1,000 for Friends of PICU, supporting the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
Matt said: “We nearly lost our son at four weeks old and have been doing different things to raise money for this amazing charity ever since.
“This unit saved our son’s life. It would be good to make more people aware of this amazing charity.
“This great unit helped my son with a heart condition and helps lots of different children every single day. This unit has lots of different age children with heart problems, some needing life-threatening operations.
“The care they give children is like no other and we can’t fault them for what they have done for our special little boy.”
There will be a bouncy castle, food and other stalls at the club. Time will be set aside for the children to have a knockaround after the main match and there will be an auction later in the day.
Previous fundraising events have included wives and girlfriends from the Woodward family doing the Colour Run in Brighton and Matt doing Tough Mudder in Horsham with his brothers and their dad, Greg Woodward.
Oscar Woodward, who will be four in August, was admitted to Worthing Hospital in 2015 because he had serious problems breathing soon after he was born. Doctors were unsure if it was a heart condition or a virus affecting his heart but as soon as he was fit to travel, he was transferred to specialists in Southampton.
Greg said: “After exceptional care and dedication by all the staff at this unit, he managed to pull through. Travelling backwards and forwards to this unit, each time their care was exceptional.”
Oscar is still under the care of Southampton Children’s Hospital and has a fast track to treatment, if needed.
Matt explained: “Oscar has to go back every two years, as he still has a slight hole that they cannot check properly until he has a fully grown heart and can do a MRI scan to see if everything is okay.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matthew-woodward8 to make a donation.