Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney donate £10k to Wrexham player's fundraiser

Ryan Reynolds, Owner of Wrexham and Rob McElhenney, Actor and Co-Owner of Wrexham react prior to the Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi Final match between Wrexham and Grimsby Town
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Wrexham AFC owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have donated £10,000 to support the intensive care units which helped a Wrexham player's premature baby.

GoFundMe confirmed to the PA news agency that the donation was made by the club owners on Friday under the name "Rob and Ryan Wrexham". The fundraiser was set up by midfielder James Jones and his partner Chloe Jones after she went into premature labour during a Wrexham match in November 2022.

Ms Jones faced complications during her pregnancy when she developed pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure, and hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels and low platelet levels (HELLP) causing her to experience two seizures and multiple organ failure. Their son, Jude who was born 15 weeks before his due date on November 19 2022 and weighed 1lb 4oz was taken to Bolton neonatal intensive care, while Ms Jones was treated at the Wrexham Maelor hospital's intensive care unit.

The couple started a GoFundMe to raise money for the two intensive care units which helped them through their pregnancy and for Spoons, a charity which offers neonatal support for families.

Jude's parents wrote on their fundraising page that their son now lived with chronic lung disease and an adrenal insufficiency following the premature pregnancy, but said he was "beating all odds and is absolutely thriving".

They added: "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."

Ms Jones said she was grateful her partner played for Wrexham the same day she went into labour and noted the football ground's proximity to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

"Someone was looking out for us on November 19," she wrote on the couple's GoFundMe page.

"If we hadn't have gone to watch James play at Wrexham, we wouldn't have been across the road from the hospital and we wouldn't be alive today."

The couple thanked friends, family, and staff at both hospitals for their support during the difficult pregnancy.

"We would like to thank all the friends and family that supported us through our difficult journey," they wrote.

"We will forever be grateful for those who went above and beyond with countless visits, food brought to the hospital and all the many other things big and small which made our time in hospital that little bit easier and helped us get through the experience," they said.

Thanks to Reynolds and McElhenney's donation, so far the couple have raised more than £12,800 of their £20,000 fundraising target.

To find out more about the fundraiser, click here.

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