Birmingham Children’s Hospital is lucky to have so many fundraising supporters – some who continue to raise money for us time and time again, because it’s a cause close to their heart.
Vicky Watson, from Worcester, is one of these special fundraisers. Vicky and her family and friends have raised over £13,500 for the hospital.
Vicky’s fundraising story began in 2010 after her six year old son George was born with a serious heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. George’s condition is very rare and he had four open heart surgeries - including an emergency operation to save his life in 2010.
Following this, Vicky and 12 of her friends took on a gruelling kayak and abseil challenge in 2010. They paddled two miles along the length of Llyn Padarn in North Wales, then abseiled down the face of a slate quarry. Along with cake sales, a coffee morning and other fundraising activities, they managed to raise £7,500 for the Children’s Heart Appeal. This money helped to fund the new cardiac hybrid theatre - which can carry out both open heart surgery and keyhole procedures - a new lab and more Paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds.
At a fundraising evening in September 2011, Vicky heard about other fundraisers who took part in half marathons and decided that the Great Birmingham Run would be her next challenge. So in October this year, Vicky, along with her mum and seven of her friends, all completed the 13 mile Great Birmingham Run and raised over £6,000 for the High Dependency Unit on Ward 12, where George was treated.
The money will be spent on a new state-of-the-art machine which monitors heart rate, respiratory levels, blood pressure and oxygen. The machine is portable, so patients are able to walk around the ward.
Vicky, who works as a Finance Manager for a school, said: “As a parent, I felt totally helpless watching George undergo such major surgeries. Fundraising has been one of the ways that I can express my thanks and give something back to the hospital. Thanks to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, George’s heart is now working extremely well. Words cannot express our gratitude to the nurses, doctors and surgeons and the difference they have made to our family.”
Hamish Shilliday, Community Fundraiser at the hospital, said: “This is the second large fundraiser that Vicky, her family and friends have carried out. In total, they have raised over £13,500 for the hospital and we are very grateful for their support. People like the Watson family and their friends are the kind of people that make a significant difference to the children’s lives whilst they are in hospital.”
Vicky doesn’t yet know what her next fundraising challenge will be, so watch this space.