A Sheffield dad has raised thousands of pounds for the hospital that cared for both his daughters after their births.
Oliver Booth took on the Yorkshire Half Marathon recently to raise an impressive £1,500 for the Neonatal Unit at Sheffield’s Jessop Wing.
Both of Oliver’s daughters - Maisie, now aged four, and Georgie, aged two - were cared for at the city hospital during the first few months of their lives after they were both born prematurely. Oliver, of Mosborough, decided to take on the marathoon running challenge as a way to show his appreciation for the health staff who cared for them, and for his wife Natalie.
Oliver, aged 30, said: “I was driving home from work one Friday when I got a call to say that Natalie’s waters had broken. She was only 30 weeks gestation. Seven days later, Natalie went into labour and Maisie was born at 30 weeks and 5 days, weighing 3lb 3oz. Small, but perfect.
“When she arrived we were able to have a quick cuddle before she was taken straight to the NNU. Maisie was a trouper, she did amazingly well. She had some mild jaundice, and at one point they thought she may need a blood transfusion, but she battled on. She was discharged after around two months, just before Christmas — the best Christmas present ever.
“After the first birth, we were hopeful our second would be a little easier. Natalie passed the thirty week mark which was a big milestone for us. She was routinely monitored and everything was fine, then at around 32 weeks gestation, she became quite unwell and spent a week in the Northern General Hospital. Georgie arrived a few hours later. Again we got a quick cuddle, then she was moved into NNU.
“Maisie and Georgie are now healthy, happy little girls and Natalie and I are so thankful.
“During both these times the staff were wonderful. The nurses were especially lovely. You end up sending so much time there, that you need to feel comfortable, and to be able to talk to them on a personable level.
“They go about their work with compassion and empathy, sensitively juggling the emotions of what is one of the most draining times for a new parent. They’re just invaluable.”
If you’d like to raise funds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity, visit sheffieldhospitalscharity for events.