A Cramlington resident is taking on the 2017 Great North Run to say thank you for the life-saving care given to her daughter at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH) and she hopes to inspire others to do the same.
At just three weeks old, Stephanie Cunningham’s youngest daughter Esther was admitted to the GNCH’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with bronchiolitis – a lower respiratory tract infection which affects babies and young children under the age of two.
In rare situations, such as in Esther’s case, children can suffer a severe reaction that then requires hospital treatment.
After spending a week in the PICU, Esther’s tubes were finally removed and she was transferred to the Paediatric Respiratory Care Unit, where she then spent a further five days.
Stephanie said: “She was connected to so many tubes, but Esther had a nurse watching over her 24 hours a day, so every time an alarm went off on her monitors, someone was already there to help her.
“We’ve been told so many times that she was unlucky to contract bronchiolitis as she was a full-term, good weight baby, but we just feel so lucky to have this fantastic hospital in the North East and for the amazing care that Esther received at the GNCH.
“The staff and facilities in both units were fantastic and the level of care was amazing. We have no doubt Esther wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for the teams at the GNCH, but thankfully we got to take her home just in time for her first Christmas.”
She has signed up to take part in the Great North Run with a GNCH Foundation charity place. The half-marathon event from Newcastle to South Shields takes place on September 10.
Stephanie added: “I have never wanted to run the Great North Run before, but thanks to the GNCH, Esther is still here so I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible for the foundation and I hope I can also inspire others to do the same.”
For more details about places available for the foundation, call 0191 2137235.