Meet the first of our 2023 GNR runners!

Meet the first of our 2023 Great North Run runners!

Simon is running to raise funds for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Leighton Hospital, where his son Edward was a patient for 5 days after a difficult birth.

The Neonatal Unit looks after the poorliest babies at Leighton Hospital. Patients can be admitted for any number of reasons, they may have suffered complications as a result of a difficult birth or being born prematurely. Worldwide, one in ten babies is born before full-term and many of these babies need assistance in the first weeks or months of their lives as a result.

As is unfortunately the case with many areas of our hospitals, the NICU struggles for funding to afford all the specialist equipment needed to provide the best care and experience for the babies and families in their care. Any money that we can raise together to help them with this equipment will make a huge difference to the lives of the families whom they serve.

On why he’s running for the NICU, Simon said: “Our son, Edward wasn’t premature – in fact he was born a day late, much to the horror of his mother who insists on being early everywhere. We’d planned a calm homebirth, but when Anna went into labour with Edward, we discovered that he was the wrong way around (breech). This changed everything and suddenly there were ambulances outside, paramedics on standby, and when Edward was born he needed resuscitating before being rushed to Leighton Hospital, firstly to A&E and then to NICU. We were incredibly lucky that Edward was ok – concerns of any long-term damage were ruled out fairly quickly and, after a few days of careful observations, he was allowed home. We will be forever grateful for the care Edward received, from the paramedics, A&E staff, and then during his stay in NICU.”

The Great North Run is the world’s biggest half marathon – this year’s Great North Run takes place on Sunday 10th September 2023.

Read more about Simon’s story and donate to his fundraiser, here.