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Patient's dad has grounds to be thankful for life-savers; BIRMINGHAM WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST HAS THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS AND FUNDRAISERS. EACH WEEK WE TELL THE STORY OF ONE OF ITS DEDICATED CHARITY CHAMPIONS...

A FOOTBALL crazy dad is this week's charity champion after walking 22 miles between the region's football stadiums to raise over PS3,000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

Avid Wolves fan, Stuart Johnson, aged 57, from Tardebigge, was inspired to take on the walk from Birmingham City's St Andrew's stadium to his home team's stomping ground, the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, after his daughter Jess received life-saving treatment at the hospital earlier this year.

Fourteen-year-old Jess had an operation to remove her appendix at a local hospital but became critically ill after contracting sepsis, a lifethreatening condition that arises when the body overresponds to an infection. Slowly, Jess started to show signs of improvement and was discharged but when she got home, her condition deteriorated again.

Jess was rushed back to her local hospital where the decision was made to transfer her by blue lights to Birmingham Children's Hospital for the specialist care she needed. There doctors confirmed that the sepsis had taken hold again and that it was causing her body to shut down, leading to an obstructed bowel. Jess was desperately poorly and needed two operations to successfully remove the obstruction.

Mum, Deb stayed by Jess's side the entire time while Stuart visited every day and they decided that when Jess was better, they would do something spectacular to express their gratitude for the care Jess received. Together with Jess's little sister Izzy, the family started planning their epic fundraiser.

Stuart said: "Jess was so poorly but Birmingham Children's Hospital saved our beautiful daughter's life and I just wanted to do something to say thank you.

"I've always been a big football fan and wanted to do something that would incorporate that, so I planned the 22-mile route that would lead me back to my home team. We were joined on the day by my life-long friend Ian and family friend Hayley and we all did really well considering the blistering 33 degree heat - even Jess managed to walk 16 miles with us! Luckily we had Deb and Izzy to cheer us on and give us the boost we needed."

Miranda Williams, public fundraising manager at Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity, said: "We're so glad to hear that Jess's story had a happy ending after what must've been such a terrifying time for her and her parents, and that their experience of our hospital inspired Stuart and his friends to do something so incredible for us.

"The money this triumphant trio has raised for our Surgical Ward where Jess was treated will go towards making sure that all of our patients are as comfortable as possible during their stay."

If you would like to fundraise for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity or to simply donate, email fundraising@bch.org.uk, call 0121 333 8506 or visit www.bch.org.uk.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 1, 2019
Words:470
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