Birmingham Children’s Hospital has thousands of supporters and fundraisers who repeatedly go out of their way to make a real difference to our children and young people. Each week we will be telling the story of one our dedicated Charity Champions, to highlight the difference that they are making to the children we treat.
This week we are sharing the story of 31 Hayley Leon from Willenhall in Coventry who describes her fundraising for Birmingham Children’s Hospital as her ‘hobby and passion’, following a life saving operation to remove a blood clot on her son Jacob’s brain.
In July 2011, Jacob Edwards - who was then just two weeks old - became very poorly. His worried parents took him to the doctors and he was referred to his local hospital. A scan confirmed that he had a large blood clot on the back of his brain, which was stopping the flow of fluid between the brain and the spine. He was then urgently transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital to see Neurology specialist Mr Desiderio Rodrigues.
After a successful six hour life saving operation to remove the clot and relieve the pressure on his brain, Jacob has now had the ‘all clear’ and is a happy and healthy nine month old baby.
Mum Hayley was so impressed with the dedication of everyone involved in Jacob’s care that she decided to start her own fundraising mission, to say thank you.
Since last year, Hayley and her family and friends have held a number of events, including encouraging donations instead of Christmas cards, online auctions with small items donated from local businesses, chocolate stalls, raffles and charity nights. Hayley has been overwhelmed with the support that they have shown over the last few months.
Through Jacob’s Facebook page, a signed Coventry City FC shirt, signed photographs of Manchester Utd FC player Ashley Young and Liverpool FC player Luis Suarez will be auctioned off between now and 8 April – with all of the money going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
With plans to continue fundraising for the foreseeable future, Hayley said:
“Without surgery Jacob would have died. We put all our trust into Mr Rodrigues and his team and we knew as soon as we met him that he was an amazing individual! The operation was a success and we can never thank Mr Rodrigues and his team enough for saving Jacob’s life.
“We are also so grateful to the intensive care KIDS team who transported Jacob from his local hospital to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Paediatric Intensive Care and Neonatal teams and of course Ward 10 for their care, help and support when Jacob was ill.
“No one knows if their child will ever need help from Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we all pray that this will never be the case. But we would like to know that if there was ever a need, they have the equipment, money and knowledge to be able to treat babies and children in the best possible way.”
To find out how you can support Birmingham Children’s Hospital, please call 0121 333 8506 or visit www.bch.org.uk