A Wivenhoe couple, Catherine and Andrew, have thanked our- hospital staff for the care they gave their baby son and are set to donate a share of £60,000 to them in his memory.


Andrew Foster and Catherine Alport visited the Children’s Ward at Colchester Hospital yesterday (15 February) to meet staff involved in his care, on what would have been son Rycroft Alport Foster’s second birthday.


Rycroft was born with a rare genetic condition called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS), which meant he needed a bone marrow transplant shortly after his first birthday. The procedure was a success, but Rycroft developed a chest infection during his recovery and sadly died last summer aged just 16 months.


Andrew and Catherine set the ambitious goal of raising £60,000 to celebrate their son’s memory and thank three charities which supported him during his short life, including the children’s ward where they have “warm and happy memories” which is run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).


“We have been blown away by the support we have received from all sorts of people – including total strangers – in the aftermath of losing Rycroft,” said Andrew. “He spent a great deal of time on Colchester Hospital’s children’s ward, including his only birthday, so it felt fitting to go there first.


“We will be making further donations to SDS UK and Great Ormond Street Fox Ward, which also helped Rycroft greatly and gave him a chance of life. Being able to give these three fantastic charities £20,000 each in his memory is the best consolation we could have. 


“We have got to know lots of other families on the wards and through online support groups and all we really want is those children and the others like them to go home, happy and healthy. It's the best tribute we could ever pay to Rycroft.”


Penny Norris, corporate and trust manager with Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, which supports ESNEFT’s services, said: “We are hugely grateful to Andrew, Catherine and their friends and family for their incredible donations in Rycroft’s memory. Their generosity will ensure his legacy lives on and will make a massive difference to other families using the ward in the future.”


Andrew and Catherine are still accepting donations to Rycroft’s page, which is available at: JustGiving