A MUM whose little boy was very poorly when he was born will be part of a travel agency team doing a 16-mile sponsored walk to raise money for the special care baby unit (SCBU) which looked after him.

The four-strong team from Hays Travel in Rhyl will pound the pavement on July 22 when they embark on the walk along the coast to Llandudno in aid of Cuddles, the charity set up to support the SCBU at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan.

Sinead Lloyd's son Gino, now four, was treated there after an emergency caesarean.

Doctors became concerned when Gino wouldn’t feed and once he was taken into the unit, it was discovered he had group B strep – a type of bacteria called streptococcal – which can be passed on from a mother during pregnancy, and he was also treated for suspected meningitis.

Hays Travel North West asks each of its 30 shops across North Wales and North West England to generate at least £500 for a chosen charity every year and doubles the total of the highest fundraising branch.

Travel consultant Sinead, who also has a one-year old daughter, Cecelia, said: “When we were picking our charity to support this year, we wanted it to be a local one.

“Everyone at some point will have either experienced themselves or known someone whose child needed that extra special care.

“I know from personal experience what a fantastic job they do.

“As a first-time mum, that seemed like a lifetime and when you’re sitting in a ward with other mothers who have their babies with them. it’s heartbreaking.”

The former Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School pupil who lives in Rhyl, was a week overdue with Gino and recalled: “I had an emergency C-section at 9pm. Gino arrived and everything was fine.

“I tried to feed him but he wasn’t taking it. The doctor was called and he said we’ll have to take him into SCBU.

“Because I’d had a C-section and was unable to move, I didn’t see him for seven hours. It was awful.

“When I was able to go down and see him it was a huge shock for me. He had tubes to get him feeding.

“I just broke down. When it’s your child it’s the worst thing in the world. Your emotions are running high.”

Sinead added: “When Gino first went in there he wouldn’t take any feeds, but thanks to the wonderful staff, they had him feeding by the time we left.

“They cleared him of the group B strep and although he was treated for suspected meningitis and had to have fluid taken from his spine, thankfully he didn’t have it.

“He was in SCBU for four days in total and we eventually left hospital after 10 days.

“Gino is a picture of health now. I just don’t think they are thanked enough which is why we want to raise money for the unit.”

Sinead, 24, has been with Hays Travel for just over six months having previously worked in sales at the nearby Ty Mawr Holiday Park.

She said: “We’re all up for the walk and have decided we are just going to tackle it head on.

“We’re going to have some T-shirts made up and we’re aiming to complete the walk within five hours.”

Angela Hannah, senior staff nurse and Cuddles charity link nurse, said: “We are really grateful to Hays Travel for choosing to raise money from their sponsored walk.

“It is great to get the support from our local community as we rely on this not only for donations but to maintain the profile of our charity.

“The charity has been built solely from the work of volunteers and the money raised will go to very good use with the purchase of much needed equipment and facilities that enables parents to stay in hospital with their baby whilst caring for them for long periods of time.

“The newly renovated neonatal unit will have excellent parental facilities so we will work alongside parents in deciding what equipment will be most beneficial for them.”

To make a donation to the Hays Travel team in Rhyl, go online at www.justgiving.com and search for haysrhylscubu