WIRRAL'S deputy mayor has made an emotional return to the neonatal unit at Arrowe Park Hospital - 24 years after his grandson was treated at the facility.

Councillor George Davies and deputy mayoress Cath Davies visited the neonatal unit where their grandson Ben Stuart was treated for three months after being born premature.

They were given a tour of the facility and found out more about the Wirral University Teaching Hospital's (WUTH) Tiny Stars appeal which aims to raise £1.5m in the next three years to refurbish the neonatal unit.

Now aged 24, Ben joined his grandparents on the visit and said: “It is lovely to be able to come back 24 years later and learn about the work WUTH Charity and the neonatal unit are doing to improve the facility.”

For deputy mayor Davies, it was an emotional return to the unit.

He told the Globe: “On the night Ben was born I was sat in council and had to leave early and come up to Arrowe Park Hospital.

"Ben was the size of a hand and only weighed one kilo.

“We used to call him ‘a bag of sugar’ because he was that small.

Wirral Globe:

Deputy mayor councillor George Davies pictured with baby Alexander Kenworth, and his mum Jessica Kenworth

"We are so grateful for the care he received during this time.”

The neonatal unit is one of two level 3 (highest level) intensive care units in Merseyside and Cheshire and is the only unit in the area that treats both mum and baby together.

It is hoped that by raising the cash to upgrade in facilities, it will improve the environment for poorly babies and their mums.

Victoria Burrows, head of fundraising at WUTH said: “We are so happy to welcome the deputy mayor and mayoress to come and see our unit with their grandson Ben.

“Tiny Stars is off to a great start but we need as much support as possible to make the appeal a success.

"We’d ask anyone who is interested in helping to get in touch.”

Recently the WUTH Charity raised more £20,000 during an abseil event at Arrowe Park Hospital and aims to reach the £1.5 million target in the next three years.

For more information about WUTH Charity and the ‘Tiny Stars’ appeal visit wuthcharity.org, email wuth.charity@nhs.net or call into the charity office at the main entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital.