Newborn’s battle for survival spurs mum to complete run for charity that kept them together

A Doncaster mum who was told several times by doctors that her new born daughter might not survive completed the Great North Run to raise money for charity, The Sick Children’s Trust that kept her close to her daughter’s hospital bedside.

Sophie Bradbury, 34, was overjoyed when her daughter Isla was born in July 2018 when everything appeared to be normal until tests of her blood oxygen level showed just 82% – 12% less than the minimum amount.

They were quickly rushed to Leeds Children’s Hospital where it was discovered that Isla had Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn (PPHN) which was preventing her from pumping blood and oxygen around her body correctly. Isla spent a month in hospital being treated to try to regulate the oxygen in her system, with Sophie being told on several occasions to prepare for the worst.

During this dramatic ordeal Sophie was never far from Isla’s side as she was able to stay at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Eckersley House located just minutes from the hospital. Sophie, a Business Development Coordinator, said:

“We were told several times that Isla wasn’t going to make it and that even if she did she would have several disabilities, but she has proved everybody wrong. After six months of medicine she no longer requires any treatment and is showing no side effects from her experience.

“The Sick Children’s Trust was an absolute live-saver and made sure I could always be by Isla’s side. Without them it would have been a nightmare trying to travel every day or stay in hotel rooms.

“Being able to stay at Eckersley House, sleep in a comfortable bed and have some time away from the hospital to recharge all while knowing you are just minutes away is so important to keeping your strength up. My son James visited on the weekends so that we could stay together as a family and we celebrated James’ third birthday in Eckersley House while Isla was in hospital. Support from The Sick Children’s Trust meant I never had to worry about getting back to Isla’s side should she need me.

“Being able to speak to the other families staying at Eckersley House, who also have seriously ill children in hospital, was very comforting as they understood my fears and concerns and helped to reassure me. I cannot thank everyone there enough for their support.”

To say thank you to The Sick Children’s Trust Sophie took on the Great North Run completing the half marathon in two hours and ten minutes raising £590. Sophie added:

“I wanted to give back to all the house staff and the families staying at Eckersley House and while I’ve never been a runner I started in January and completed a 10K in April and it just kept growing from there.  There was a great atmosphere on the day and I felt motivated all the way round because Isla fought to stay with us and I wanted to finish the race for her and The Sick Children’s Trust to thank them for all their support.

“Isla is doing fantastically well now and she is doing everything a one year old should be, you would have no idea what she has been through. She doesn’t need any further treatment and we couldn’t be happier.”

The charity doesn’t charge families to stay at their ‘Homes from Home’ but it does cost The Sick Children’s Trust £30 to support a family for one night. £30 gives them more than just a roof over their head, it gives them a place to rest and emotional support from both staff and the other families. Eckersley House Manager Jane McHale said:

“Sophie was given the worse news imaginable when doctors told her that Isla might not make it but her daughter kept going and we are thrilled that she is doing really well now. We are glad to have kept the family together during this difficult time and we are extremely proud and grateful to Sophie for completing the Great North Run and raising money for us so that we can be there for more families.”

More information can be found on Sophie’s Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sophie-Bradbury5

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