A father whose son was born with a spine defect is making regular food deliveries to the hospital which enabled him to walk.
Oliver Bailey, 43, from Dulwich Village, launched a campaign to support NHS front line staff as a tribute to the King’s College Hospital team which helped treat his boy, Henry, who was born in 2018.
The Harvest for Heroes campaign is delivering fruit, vegetables, milk and pasta to hospitals during the Covid-19 outbreak – also including Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley – as a way to help its hard-working hospital teams.
The drive has already raised £28,000, and has been shared by talk show host Jonathan Ross and Rocketman and Kingsman star Taron Egerton.
Comedian Johnny Vegas also helped Oliver deliver supplies last week as he drove his van hundreds of miles to hospitals as far apart as Liverpool, Rotherham and Doncaster.
The pair know each other from when Oliver’s son Noah played Prince Harry in movie The Queen and I two years ago.
Henry had undergone a seven-hour operation when he was one year old, and as a result, he is able to walk today.
Oliver said: “It was a huge shock to the family when Henry was born, and we had no idea what the future would hold.
“Luckily, we had an incredible team looking after us at King’s. I can never thank the staff enough for their care.
“I’d seen stories of NHS workers left with empty supermarket shelves at the end of their shift, and I wanted to do something to help.
The Harvest for Heroes campaign delivers healthy and nutritious food supplies, sourced from New Covent Garden Market, to hospitals throughout London. We’re aiming to raise £100,000 to help NHS staff stay healthy and well.
“This is my opportunity to do my bit and show the NHS how much we all care. I’m sure the community will come together and show their support for NHS staff who are pulling out all the stops to keep everyone safe.”
Oliver had recruited friend Darren Burrows, who had worked at New Covent Garden Market, to supply the food – and now hopes South London firms will sponsor the extra costs of delivering more – to places such as care homes which require just the same sort of help.
Oliver said: “Henry was born by C-section and we assumed he was healthy. It wasn’t until later that night that Rachel called me and sobbed down the phone that they had done further tests as he had what looked like a ‘button’ on his upper back.
“We needed to trust that they knew when the right time would be.
“We had a scare when his back started leaking when we were in America when he was one which meant we had to have the operation earlier than initially planned – our worries about having to rush home early were put to rest by Bassel Zebian who even spoke to us from a ski slope on his holiday – amazing man.
“Rachel and I stayed in the hospital with Henry for two weeks, the staff were fantastic and it was a huge success. We all have felt so relieved and to be honest, now he is so healthy and well he is mostly busy driving us mad, running around and being a typical full on young boy.”
To donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harvestforheroes or www.harvestforheroes.com
Pictured top: Oliver and Henry Bailey
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