A Stroud baby who was born 11-weeks premature has inspired his doting parents to fundraise for the neonatal unit that saved his life.

Phoenix Russell was born at Gloucestershire Royal to Vikki and Michael-Lee on May 23, nearly three months before his due date.

Despite the odds against him, baby Phoenix has survived to reach 13 weeks, thanks to the "incredible" care and expertise of the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

"The angels of Gloucester NICU stepped in to resuscitate him and they kept my baby alive as I watched through an incubator," recalls mum Vikki.

"It has been a long and bumpy road to get this far, but the unit has got us through every step. They didn't just look after Phoenix, but all of the family."

The great joy for Vikki and Michael-Lee and their other two children is that Phoenix, although facing a lot of health challenges, has since become well enough to go home.

"It was a long 59-day stay and while Phoenix remains reliant on oxygen and has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease, as well as having an open heart duct and heart murmur, he is home," his devoted mum says.

The Russells feel so extraordinarily lucky and blessed that Phoenix continues to fight for life and so inspired by his determination, they have set up a fundraising page in aid of Gloucester NICU.

"NICU needs extra funding," says Vikki. "Some items were in short supply such as breast pumps, pillows, bonding squares; things seemed to be misplaced or missing, so we'd like to help a little."

After a cake sale and a silent online auction, the family has raised £520 of their £800 target, but are asking SNJ readers to help them reach the milestone as Phoenix continues his own ongoing battle for well-being at home.

Dad Michael-Lee has even taken up running and signed up to the Stroud Half Marathon in a bid to help bring in sponsorship.

If you would like to support the Gloucester Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, then please support Vikki Russell's fundraising project and lend morale to little Phoenix's development by donating to her GoFundMe page.