Wrexham co-owner's Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney donate £10,000 to Greater Manchester hospital

James, Chloe and baby Jude Credit: James and Chloe Jones

Hollywood A-listers and Wrexham AFC co-owners have donated £10,000 to a neonatal intensive care unit after staff looked after one of their player's children.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney gifted the money after Wrexham player James jones, and his partner Chloe, saw their son, Jude, spend 122 days in hospital after being born 15 weeks prematurely in November 2022.

To say thank you to the neonatal nurses at the Royal Bolton Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), who provided life-saving care for their little boy, the couple are now raising thousands of pounds.

Jude was transferred to Bolton within hours of being born at Wrexham Maelor Hospital weighing just 1lb 4oz.

The couple say they believed their 'tiny fragile baby' would not survive.

"There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a room full of nurses and doctors run over to your baby without hesitation, to try and save their life," the couple said.

But, after spending four months in the hospital, the family made it home as a trio, and are thanking staff, with a Go Fund Me page - which received a generous £10,000 boost from Reynolds, and McElhenney.

Writing on Go Fund Me, Chloe said: “James and I would sit next to his incubator for hours on end, every day, looking at our tiny fragile baby and all the numbers on his monitor, praying that he would survive. At times, we believed he wouldn’t.

“There were two occasions when Jude’s nurse had to pull the emergency cord as he was in a critical condition.

"There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a room full of nurses and doctors run over to your baby without hesitation, to try and save their life.

“No baby should have to go through that and no parent should ever have to watch. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

Jude, was born 15 weeks prematurely in November 2022 and spent 122 days in hospital Credit: James and Chloe Jones

Shortly after the birth, Chloe experienced pre-eclampsia, a condition which causes high blood pressure, and the life-threatening pregnancy condition Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets (HELLP) syndrome, leading to Chloe having two seizures and multiple organ failure.

Chloe has thanked all the doctors, nurses and midwives for the care the family received and provided an update on Jude’s journey.

“We cannot thank the nurses, doctors and consultants enough for saving me and Jude. The work they do day in, day out is amazing," she said.

"There really are no words for how much it means to us, Jude is our whole world.

“Jude is beating all odds and is absolutely thriving! He is smashing every milestone and is the happiest little boy!

“Jude has chronic lung disease and an adrenal insufficiency as a result of his extreme prematurity and needing courses of steroids whilst in hospital.

"Despite his difficult start, he is dealing with everything incredibly well.

“We are so proud of him for being so strong and brave through absolutely everything he’s had to endure. It is an honour to be his parents and we love every second of it.”

Jude today Credit: James and Chloe Jones

The couple are aiming to raise £20,000 for Our Bolton NHS Charity, Spoons, and CHERISH at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Cath Bainbridge, Matron for Neonatal Services at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The family overcame so much during their stay with us at Royal Bolton Hospital and it’s wonderful to learn that Jude is doing so well.

“We’re really touched that Chloe and James have chosen to raise money for our unit and their funds will go such a long way in helping so many families in Bolton and beyond.”

AFC Wrexham owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Credit: PA

Sarah Skinner, Charity Manager at Our Bolton NHS Charity, said: “It’s so humbling to hear from families who are raising money for NHS charities because of the care and compassion they received from those working in the NHS at times when they felt so anxious and vulnerable.

“We’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks Chloe and James for driving this appeal, to Wrexham AFC for giving the appeal such great coverage and support, and to everyone who has donated so far.

"This collective kindness and generosity will make all the difference to families who require extra special care and support in our neonatal unit."