A mother will be running the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run to raise money for Tommy's, a baby charity that helped her to give birth to a healthy boy after suffering from two miscarriages.
41-year-old Amanda Wells, from Loughborough, feels very grateful for the amazing support she got from Tommy's during a very difficult time and hopes to give just a little back to them and raise awareness of miscarriage.
Amanda's first miscarriage happened in August 2016 when she was around six weeks pregnant. In the October she was overjoyed to find out she was pregnant again but sadly it wasn't to be and she lost the baby in the November, leaving her devastated and scared.
Amanda started to feel like she was letting people down and that miscarriage was something to be ashamed of. The only people she told were close family members and it was kept a secret from everyone else, whilst dealing with a diagnosis from the hospital that her age was against her and the chances of carrying a healthy baby were slim. To make matters worse, Amanda's father was in a stage three heart failure and was feeling very poorly.
At the suggestion of a friend who had been through a similar experience Amanda contacted Tommy's who went on to diagnose her with antiphospholipid syndrome, a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots which could contribute to miscarriage if not managed correctly, leaving Amanda with renewed hope that her dream could still come true.
Unfortunately in May 2017 Amanda's father was admitted to hospital needing further treatment and after concentrating on her father with daily visits to see him, Amanda realised she was pregnant once again.
Amanda needed this to work out, for herself and for her dad, whose health continued to deteriorate after he contracted sepsis. Being told it was unlikely he'd make it through the night, Amanda took the decision to tell him about her pregnancy.
As the days passed the doctors kept telling them that he was now in multi organ failure and that he would not survive but he kept defying them and kept going.
In the meantime, Amanda had been visiting Tommy's to collect injections she had to give herself daily throughout the pregnancy. She also had fortnightly scans, with each scan photo taken to her father's hospital bedside.
Despite the Doctors believing he would not survive long enough to meet his grandchild, they told him to set himself some goals to aim towards, with Amanda promising if she was carrying a boy he would be named Harry after his Grandad.
During the whole pregnancy Amanda was understandably worried that something would go wrong. But as each week passed, the baby not only grew stronger but so did her father's determination to meet his grandchild.
On 18 January 2018 Harry Phoenix entered the world weighing a healthy 7lb. Harry after his Grandad and Phoenix to remember the two babies they lost. That evening Amanda's mum, brother and niece brought her dad over to the hospital to visit the grandson that he had fought so hard to meet.
Harry is now 6 months old and has grown to be a happy, cheeky little boy with an infectious personality. And having defied the medical professionals and surviving to see Harry born, Amanda's father continues to do so and is happily still with the family now.
Amanda feels extremely grateful to Tommy's as she would not have her precious boy with her if it was not for them.
She said: “I owe everything to Tommy's as without them I wouldn't have my little rainbow boy and I wouldn't have been able to share the last 6 months fulfilling both mine and my dad's dream.
“Telling my parents that I had lost my baby was one of the hardest things I had ever done and as crazy as it sounds I felt as if I had let them down by miscarrying.
“I was ashamed and embarrassed to talk about the miscarriages with people to begin with but it isn't until you've been there that you realise how common it is and that it is something that should be spoken about, not hidden away.
“My dad and I have always been close and I had to know that if I was going to lose him that he knew I was pregnant and so took the decision to tell him, even though it was so early in the pregnancy. I asked people to leave his bedside so that it was just the two of us and whispered in his ear that I was going to be a mummy. Dad hadn't spoken much as he was so poorly but on hearing this he started to shout ‘thank you, thank you' and then held my hand and told me that he would be here to meet his grandchild.
“Thank you Tommy's for fulfilling my dream of becoming a mummy and thank you Dad for being the hero that you have always been to me and fighting so hard to be here to meet Harry and to build some memories that we can share with him so that he knows how amazing his Grandad Harry is.”
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run will start on Broad Street before taking runners to handsome Highfield Road in Edgbaston and down the infamous hill of Lee Bank Middleway, once a challenging incline near the end of the half marathon. Participants will then do a lap of Cannon Hill Park and world-famous Edgbaston Stadium before turning back to the city centre after they reach beautiful Bournville. The run finishes before thousands of cheering spectators on Jennens Road and the Aston University Campus Charity Village.
Anyone who entered the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k will receive a £10 discount on their entry fee for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run. To enter click here.