Doncaster dad raises cash for Sheffield hospital for saving daughter’s life

Darren Richardson with his daughters Connie and Neve
Darren Richardson with his daughters Connie and Neve
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A former soldier joined forces with three former comrades to raise £1,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital for saving his daughter’s life.

Darren Richardson, of Sykehouse, Doncaster, walked 86 miles from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria along Hadrian’s Wall to Newcastle, three years after his daughter, Connie, almost died after contracting meningitis.

Darren Richardson with his daughters Connie and Neve

Darren Richardson with his daughters Connie and Neve

Her family said she made a miraculous recovery thanks to the treatment she received in Sheffield.

Darren completed the walk with James Stocks, from Sheffield and Wayne Pells and Stephen Cawthorne, both from Goole.

Their former staff sergeant, Mick Kelly, was also on hand to carry their equipment.

“The walk gave me a lot of time to think about what Connie went through and it helped me get over it,” said Darren

In October 2011, Darren and his partner Emma took three-year-old daughter to their GP doctor because she was lethargic.

The doctor recognised meningitis warning signs and Connie, now six, was rushed to Doncaster Royal Infirmary before being transferred to The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield.

“It felt like it wasn’t real, like none of it was happening to us” said Darren, now a Network Rail engineer.

“But as soon as we arrived at The Children’s Hospital I knew she was going to be ok.”

Connie was put into an induced coma and pumped with saline to keep the blood moving around her body and help save her limbs from damage.

Darren and Emma, who was eight months pregnant with their second child, kept vigil at Connie’s bedside.

Darren added: “One day, she just woke up saying she could see Lane, our dog. It was the morphine, but from that moment her recovery was quick and amazing to see. I felt like I could fly, there was such a weight lifted. It was incredible.

“If you saw her now you would never know she went through what she did. That is all thanks to the angels and saints at The Children’s Hospital who saved her life, and saved her from losing any limbs. She is the way she is now thanks to them, and I knew I needed to do something to say thank you.”