On your marks for hospital charities

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity appealing to participants in Great Birmingham runs.

With less than three months to go until the Great Birmingham 10k or Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 10th October, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals Charity is calling on runners to pull on their trainers in support of the two hospitals..

After the cancellation of last year’s events, 2021 will see the Birmingham half marathon and iconic 10k race take place simultaneously, on one day, for the first time ever.

One supporter already signed up to run the Great Birmingham 10k for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is 32-year-old Jade Barber, from Cannock, who is running to raise vital funds as thanks to the hospital for saving her three-year-old daughter’s life.

Jade was at her 20-week-scan when she found out that her first child, Mabel, would be born with a poorly heart. Doctors could see an anomaly on the ultrasound but it wasn’t until Mabel was born at Birmingham Women’s Hospital seventeen weeks later that they could see the full extent of her condition and, unfortunately, it was worse than anyone could have anticipated.

Jade and her husband, Darren, were devastated and struggled to comprehend as doctor’s diagnosed their new born baby with not one, but multiple congenital heart defects, including coarctation of the aorta, which meant that Mabel’s aorta was narrower than it should have been, making it hard for her heart to pump oxygenated blood around her body. Mabel also had multiple ventricular septal defects as well as an atrial septal defect which meant that there were several holes in her heart.

No sooner had she entered the world, Mabel was whisked away to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was cared for, for four days, until she was able to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she underwent open-heart surgery to fix her tiny heart just two days later.

After an agonising eight hour wait, Jade and Darren rushed to be by Mabel’s side as she emerged from theatre. The operation had been a success and Mabel was on the road to recovery.

Jade said: “From the moment Mabel was born I felt like I was watching someone else’s life – I just couldn’t believe this was happening to my precious baby girl. I felt so helpless and so emotional but every single member of staff I met at both hospitals were absolutely fantastic, looking after me just as much as Mabel! They even provided accommodation for me just across the corridor, so that I could stay by Mabel’s side.

“Mabel needed a second operation just before her second birthday, and while it was just as difficult as the first time around, we took a lot of comfort from the fact we knew she was in the very best hands, and we just think ourselves so lucky that we’re under the care of such an incredible hospital.”

Just over three years later, Mabel is thriving and Jade is taking on the Great Birmingham 10k as a way of giving back to the hospital for her life-saving treatment and for the care the staff showed to all of her family.

Jade continued: “I’ll never truly be able to convey just how grateful I am for everything Birmingham Children’s Hospital has done for Mabel and our family, but taking part in the Great Birmingham 10k and raising much needed funds for the hospital is just a small token of thanks.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The Great Birmingham Run is a firm favourite with our supporters and after a year’s absence, whether you run, jog or even walk, we want you to turn out for our patients!

“Our Women’s Hospital, is only one of two dedicated Women’s Hospitals in the whole of the UK, so by running to support our Women’s Hospital Charity, you’ll be making a difference to the services we provide to thousands of women, babies and families every year. Alternatively, by joining Jade to run for our Children’s Hospital Charity, you’ll be helping us do more for sick kids, just like Mabel, and their families.”

The Great Birmingham Run and 10K will be staged in line with government guidance and be compliant to the latest COVID-19 regulations and protocols to ensure the event is safe for all participants. To sign up to run the Great Birmingham Run 10k or Half Marathon for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, visit bwh.org.uk or to run for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, visit bch.org.uk. Alternatively, call 0121 333 8506.