I was recently put in touch with Karen, who - in 2005 - gave birth to a son at only 24 weeks pregnant. Jack is now seven years old; but he is one of the lucky ones. Karen and her husband, Alan, fought tooth and nail for their son's survival, and their experiences have motivated them to make a film about premature birth in order to raise awareness. They are looking for funding and are tight for time, as Raechel, of 24w Media Ltd, explains...
In December 2004, Karen & Alan Entwistle went for a 3D scan of their unborn baby boy. Jack Peter, as they had called him, was perfect…the scan showed he was perfect…Karen felt good…
In the New Year of 2005, Karen was experiencing discomfort and sat up awake one night watching the baby channel – a program about babies being born prematurely due to the blood condition Group B Strep. What she had seen played on her mind, and so when she next passed water, she did so in a clear glass… The fluid was cloudy and she knew it just was not right. This was the start of what would be the most dramatic roller-coaster of a year.
Alan took Karen to their local hospital. She was told her ‘plug’ had come away and she was in premature labour. They tried to slow things down but were unsuccessful and eventually Karen and Alan were told that Jack would be born within 24 hours, at just 24weeks gestation…and this was due to Group B Strep.
On January 3rd, 2005, at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, Jack Peter Entwistle was born. He weighed just 1lb 6oz and was the size of his Daddy’s hand.
Thankfully, Jack was one of the lucky micro-preemies…he survived and is now a healthy and happy seven-year-old. He is not without his problems – he only has 25% vision and has recently been diagnosed as autistic – but he’s an intelligent, fun-loving little boy.
In the months that followed Jack’s discharge from hospital, Alan started to develop the idea of writing a movie script based on their experience. Within the next few years, Alan worked on the script and in August 2011 filmed the promotional trailer to share with the world and assist with raising the finance to make the movie, 24weekers.
One of the main aims of the movie is to raise awareness of the NICU experience and that babies born this early can and do survive.
The script has received some fantastic feedback from those who have read it so far, and as a result, we now have some great names attached to the project. Full Monty and Coronation Street star Steve Huison is to play the quirky consultant ‘Eastman’; Star of stage and TV, Kate Coogan will be our leading lady ‘Karen’; Billy Elliot star Stuart Wells has the role of the handsome doctor ‘Enrique’; and Hollyoaks and Grange Hill regular Amber Hodgkiss is to play preemie mum ‘Alison’.
How you can give back
In order to fund the making of the 24weekers, the team behind it, which Alan & Karen spearhead, have created a ‘crowd-funding’ campaign on the successful US-based Kickstarter website, which launched UK projects on 31st October 2012. The 24weekers project was launched by the team at 10.00 am on 31st October and will run for just 42 days with a target budget of £94,000. This figure has been specifically calculated to be the minimum required to cover the full production of the movie, and if the full target budget is not raised, 24weekers will not receive a penny…
Anyone in the world can pledge any amount they would like (Min £1) towards the funding of the film and in return can select from a variety of rewards, ranging from a simple social media ‘shout out’, a copy of the new ebook ‘24weekers: The Story’, through to a non-speaking role in the film and dinner with the director and some of the cast! There is even an opportunity for preemies to appear in the film itself.
Please take a look at the 24weekers Kickstarter project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/24wmedia/24weekers-a-new-feature-film-by-alan-entwistle
Here, you can view the trailer, read the pitch, take a look at the rewards and much more… including Pledging!
How do I pledge?
1. Click on the Kickstarter project link above
2. Watch the trailer
3. Read the pitch
4. Click the green 'Back This Project' button
5. Type in the amount you would like to donate - this can be absolutely anything you choose from £1 upwards.
6. Select the appropriate reward
7. Enter your card details
9. That's it! You've just pledged! Thank you :)
Your card will be authorised but the funds will not be taken until 12th December 2012, provided that the project is successful.