Comment: World Prematurity Day will make huge difference

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anyone who has had a child suffer a serious illness will know the anguish that Sarra
 and Sir Chris Hoy have been through.

When their son Callum was born at just 29 weeks the couple endured the agony of not knowing whether their precious baby would live or die. Thankfully he proved to be as much of a fighter as his Olympic champion father and has just celebrated his first birthday in good health. The updates which Sarra has provided on young Callum’s progess have proved to be an inspiration to parents across the country and beyond. Millions of people were delighted when she shared the news that we was “doing extremely well and (was) really healthy” this summer.

The new mum has clearly forgotten none of the support which the family received during those hellish first months. Her crusade to turn Edinburgh purple to support World Prematurity Day on Novemgber 17 is a fantastic gesture.

As the charity Bliss reports, 15 million babies are born too soon each year across the globe, that’s 29 babies every minute. Sadly around one million of these babies will not survive.

The funds raised on the day promise to make a huge difference to millions of lives, by supporting work to prevent preterm births and to provide better support for babies that are born too soon.

It is fantastic that two great Edinburgh institutions in the shape of The Balmoral Hotel and Edinburgh International Airport have already offered their support. Wouldn’t it be great to see landmarks across the Capital turn purple in support? You don’t have to own a five-star hotel or airport control tower to take part though. You can support the event by buying purple ribbons for £1.50 from Bliss’s online shop.

Charities like Bliss do not always get the attention they deserve and this is a great way of helping to change that.