Cannock mother to run Greater Birmingham 10k for hospital which saved her daughter

A mother from Cannock is taking on a running challenge in Birmingham to raise money for a hospital which saved her baby daughter's life.

Jade is running the Great Birmingham 10k as thanks for Mabel’s care
Jade is running the Great Birmingham 10k as thanks for Mabel’s care

Jade Barber was at her 20-week-scan when she found out her first child Mabel would be born with a poorly heart after an "anomaly" was spotted.

But it wasn't until Mabel was born 17 weeks later that she was diagnosed with multiple congenital heart defects and other conditions by doctors.

It led to the youngster undergoing open-heart surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital which she pulled through after eight "agonising" hours.

Now, three years later, Jade is set to take on the Great Birmingham 10k in October for the Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospitals Charity.

She said: "From the moment Mabel was born I felt like I was watching someone else’s life – I just couldn’t believe this was happening to my precious baby girl. I felt so helpless and so emotional but every single member of staff I met at both hospitals were absolutely fantastic, looking after me just as much as Mabel.

"They even provided accommodation for me just across the corridor, so that I could stay by Mabel’s side.

"Mabel needed a second operation just before her second birthday, and while it was just as difficult as the first time around, we took a lot of comfort from the fact we knew she was in the very best hands, and we just think ourselves so lucky that we’re under the care of such an incredible hospital."

Mabel received open-heart surgery at just six days old
A family photo outside Birmingham Children's Hospital. Darren, Jade and Mabel
Now happy and healthy, Mabel turns four in August

Mabel had been diagnosed with multiple congenital heart defects, including coarctation of the aorta which meant her aorta was narrower than it should have been – making it difficult for her heart to pump oxygenated blood around her body – after being born.

She had multiple ventricular septal defects, as well as an atrial septal defect, which means there were several holes in her heart – leading her to be transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital for open-heart surgery which she emerged from eight hours later.

Jade, aged 32, added: "I’ll never truly be able to convey just how grateful I am for everything Birmingham Children’s Hospital has done for Mabel and our family, but taking part in the Great Birmingham 10k and raising much needed funds for the hospital is just a small token of thanks."

Both the Great Birmingham 10k and Birmingham Half Marathon will take place simultaneously on one day – October 10 – for the first time ever after the events were cancelled last year.

Miranda Williams, head of public fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: "The Great Birmingham Run is a firm favourite with our supporters and after a year’s absence, whether you run, jog or even walk, we want you to turn out for our patients!

"Our women’s hospital is only one of two dedicated women's hospitals in the whole of the UK, so by running to support our women’s hospital charity, you’ll be making a difference to the services we provide to thousands of women, babies and families every year. Alternatively, by joining Jade to run for our children’s hospital charity, you’ll be helping us do more for sick kids, just like Mabel, and their families."

To sign up to run the Great Birmingham 10k or half marathon for Birmingham Women's Hospital Charity visit bwh.org.uk/gbr, or to run for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity, visit bch.org.uk/gbr. Alternatively, call 0121 333 8506.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News