Boxing dad raises thousands for neonatal unit who saved life of ‘preemie’ daughter

Darren Lalor and baby Sienna present a cheque to Derby Hospital's Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.
Darren Lalor and baby Sienna present a cheque to Derby Hospital's Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.

A devoted dad who took to the boxing ring in aid of the hospital unit that saved his poorly premature daughter has thanked the community for helping him raise thousands towards vital equipment.

Darren Lalor came out triumphant when he fought in front of around 4,000 fans at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, raising £3,150 for Derby Hospital’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.

The audience would never have guessed that Darren’s baby daughter Sienna, who walked him to the ring, was born 14 weeks’ prematurely at the unit last year.

The ‘little survivor’ has endured eye surgery, meningitis and a spine injection, and has had to be resuscitated many times.

But the tot is now on the road to recovery and joined her dad in presenting a cheque to the unit which will go towards a reclining chair, allowing ‘preemies’ to receive cuddles from parents.

Darren, 35, from Somercotes said: “When Sienna was in hospital, we had the priest at her bedside twice.

“My partner Kristin and I were told to prepare. It was a world I’d never known before, this world of premature babies. It’s important to raise awareness for any future parents in the same horrible situation.This isn’t just about me, but everyone who rallied round to show support. I can’t thank them enough.”

Darren now hopes to raise further funding with another charity match in Derby in December, as Sienna has a hole in the heart and is facing more surgery.