A DESPERATE mum whose son was born 16 weeks prematurely is appealing for help to fund accommodation for her family as she stays with her child fighting to survive in Bristol Hospital.

Gemma Richards, who grew up in Coverack before moving to Constantine when she married, had Casper at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth on May 4 at 24 weeks and four days as opposed to the normal period of 40 weeks or 280 days.

Falmouth Packet:

Caspar just after he was born

He was so poorly that he had to transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital where the family was told that all accommodation would be sorted and not to worry. Doctors told the family that Casper wouldn't need surgery and that it was a case of making sure he was well enough to travel back to Plymouth to keep an eye on him.

However on the day that the team arrived from Plymouth to take him back to Derriford Hospital, it was decided that he was too ill to travel, after the family had already left to travel down to the city.

"We got to a service station where my phone rang and the news comes that Casper is not well enough to travel the consultants have said. We rush back to Bristol hospital to find out he needs emergency surgery on his bowel after all. Thank god he was not moved."

Caspar with his mum Gemma

Caspar with his mum Gemma


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She has now been told they are looking at Casper having to stay up in Bristol for anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks as Casper has had to have some of his bowel removed which has left him with a stoma bag until he is well enough to have it joined back together.


Caspar is so tiny

Gemma, who works for Cornwall Care in Falmouth, has now been given a room across from the hospital after sleeping three days next to his incubator but the family are not allowed here as of Covid rules main reason for the go fund me page.

She is trying to raise money to pay for accommodation her three children and her husband Gareth as she feels she can't leave her son unless her husband is there.

"I feel I can't leave him unless his dad is here," she said. "We have three other children who I am missing and just like little normal back in our life.

You can contribute to Gemma's crowd funder page at gofundme.com/f/keeping-mummy-with-casper-iron-man