Mum and Dad Raise Funds For Hospital That Saved Baby Son’s Life

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Team of four will run the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run Half-Marathon in aid of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal

Katie Burgess and her husband Stu were excited about their 20-week scan. But the sonographer couldn’t see what she needed to see, so they were referred to the Cardiology team at Bristol Children’s Hospital and saw them the following day.

It was then that Katie and Stu learned some difficult news about their baby son.

They were told their little boy was going to be born with Transposition of the Greater Arteries (TGA) and that this condition is “not compatible with life”. While further scans revealed that – aside from his heart – their baby was completely healthy and developing well, he was going to need open heart surgery soon after his birth.

“Ben had his first procedure while he was just a few hours old to help him survive until he had his main surgery a week later. Unbelievably, he was home with us just five days after that,” says Katie.

Katie, Stu and Claire Franklin, Katie’s sister, plus Khema Williams, a friend, are running the Half-Marathon at the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run on 14 May to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the dedicated charity for Bristol Children’s Hospital, where Ben was treated.

“The staff at Bristol Children’s Hospital were all amazing. It’s no exaggeration that they saved Ben’s life and they also kept us going while we spent day after day at the hospital, watching his oxygen saturation levels and cherishing every cuddle.”

Ben, who recently celebrated his first birthday, is a happy, healthy little boy.

“He loves being at home with his big sister, Freya, and his favourite time is getting in the bath with her and soaking us all as much as possible.”

Katie is particularly hoping to raise enough funds to buy some new chairs for children’s bedsides.

“On the ward, they had some comfortable, padded chairs that reclined, but not enough of them to go around. Just six hours after giving birth I was in an upright, plastic chair at Ben’s bedside until they could find me a better chair. If we can make another parent’s time in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit a bit more comfortable because they’re on a decent chair, we’ll have done something worthwhile.”

Such was their gratitude for the nurses who supported them, Katie and Stu, bought a Nespresso coffee machine for the hospital staff and have also pledged to spend at least £100 of the total raised on more coffee pods for them.


Entries for the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run 10k, Half Marathon and Family Run, which take place on Sunday 14 May, are still open here.

You can donate in support of Katie, Stu, Claire and Khema’s efforts here.