A Sheffield boy who survived a life-threatening infection as a baby is hiking 40 miles to raise vital funds for charity.
Now 11-year-old Edward Haigh will join mum Jo, dad Paul and little sister Ellie, aged eight, on a walk across Cumbria this Sunday to raise awareness and money for the national charity Group B Strep Support, which campaigns for testing and preventative medicine for pregnant mums.
The Hallam Primary School pupil was born a few weeks early in the Jessop Wing.
At three days old, Edward suddenly stopped breathing and was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where doctors started to treat him in intensive care for meningitis-type symptoms. He had to be repeatedly resuscitated over several days before his condition stabilised.
Ed’s dad Paul said: “Ed was lucky, not only to survive, but also to not have any after effects to live with. In 2008 he was joined by sister Ellie who was born safely after advice from Group B Strep Support, which recommended further testing and intravenous antibiotics during labour.”
Group B Strep is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies and meningitis in babies up to of three months. Carried by between 20-30 per cent of women, the Group B Strep bacteria can pass from a pregnant woman to baby at birth with potentially devastating consequences.
Paul, director of Hallam Teaching School Alliance, added: “We’re hoping our hike will raise invaluable awareness and funds. It will be a real challenge for Ed and Ellie, but we hope people’s donations will inspire them to keep going through rain, shine and blisters.”