Baby illness shock inspires family trek

Chris and Anna White with daughter Ellie and son Noah
Chris and Anna White with daughter Ellie and son Noah
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A COUPLE will be taking on a mountain challenge this weekend to raise money for a children’s hospital unit after experiencing a taste of what it is like to live with a poorly child.

Chris and Anna White will be completing the Three Peaks Challenge up and down the UK’s highest mountains in 24 hours to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

They were inspired in their adventure by their ordeal when their second child Ellie was born last October.

She suffered serious complications at birth and needed surgery within the first 24 hours.

The surgeons diagnosed a meconium ileus - where the content of the baby’s bowel is extremely sticky, causing it to become blocked - and said it was a telling sign that Ellie had cystic fibrosis.

Chris, from Halfway, said: “We knew relatively little about this life-shortening disease, but what we were told prepared us for the fact that Ellie was going to need life-long treatment, medication and physiotherapy.

“As well as the opportunity for the happy, family times we expected with our new daughter, over a number of years her health would severely decline, and ultimately she was unlikely to live into her forties.”

However, when the test results came back later they revealed that Ellie did not have the condition.

She needed further surgery and spent several months in hospital, but is now a happy and healthy nine-month-old.

Anna and Chris, also parents to Noah, aged two and a half, were determined to do something to help other families who haven’t been so lucky.

“It’s hard to even think back to the days of Ellie’s diagnosis,” Chris said.

“We obviously feel incredibly lucky - the importance of the health and life of our children is unquantifiable. We are so thankful to have avoided having our lives changed by CF.

“We wanted to do something to raise money directly for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s specialist Cystic Fibrosis Unit, and do something that will in some small way, help improve the treatment and care of children with CF in this region.”

The couple will start their challenge on Saturday at 7am at the foot of Ben Nevis, before completing Scafell Pike later that afternoon, and Snowden in the early hours of the morning.

They hope the stunt will take around 14 hours, walking a distance of 25 miles and climbing a height of 10,000ft.

They will also be covering a whopping 450 miles in the car between the Peaks, driven by a close friend.

Visit www.justgiving.com/chrisandannawhite to sponsor them.