Ellie Bradbury was inspired to take on the Hampton Health and Fitness Club half marathon event – a 13.1 mile cross-country walk around her village and the surrounding villages – after one of her closest friends Louise, and her newborn Max, received life-saving treatment at Birmingham Women’s Hospital after experiencing severe complications during the pregnancy and birth.

Best-friend Louise was 20 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with Placenta Previa, a condition which means that the placenta sits lower down the womb than it should, and in some cases covers the cervix, blocking the baby’s way out.  Due to this complication Louise began to haemorrhage putting her and her baby at risk, so at 30-weeks pregnant she was admitted to Birmingham Women’s Hospital where she received around-the-clock care to prolong her pregnancy. 

Unfortunately, just three weeks later Louise’s condition deteriorated, with her placenta almost detaching, so Max had to be delivered via emergency caesarean section.  Louise was then rushed to a high dependency ward for life-saving blood transfusions, only meeting Max the next day on the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where he spent the next two weeks before he was well enough to leave.

Ellie was overjoyed and relieved when she found out that Max had been born, and that after a scary start he and his mum were doing well, but due to her extremely high-pressured job, she struggled to find the time to see them. This weighed on Ellie’s mind and she wished that there was more she could have done to support Louise and Max through their ordeal. Max is now a happy and healthy two-and-a-half year old, but Ellie knew she still wanted to do something to give back to the hospital that saved her best-friend’s and son’s life, so she signed up to take part in the half marathon event which took place last month.

Soon after registering, Ellie discovered that she, herself, was pregnant, which made the cause all the more poignant and personal. She trained hard and at 12 weeks pregnant, as the rain lashed down, Ellie determinedly undertook the challenge, crossing muddy fields and finally reaching the finish line after having to walk a couple of extra miles along the way to avoid localised floods. Altogether, she raised £645 to help the women, babies and families at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Ellie Bradbury said: “After the traumatic ordeal Louise experienced, I really wanted to show my support and love by doing something to raise money for the hospital that saved her and Max’s lives. I had bruised toes from walking so far, but all of the support and camaraderie, and knowing I was raising awareness and money for such a vital service in our local area helped me put my best foot forward.”

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity said: “We all need a friend like Ellie. Birmingham Women’s Hospital is one of only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK, so it’s lovely to hear that Ellie wanted to help other mums and families here, like Louise’s, who may need our specialist support when experiencing a difficult pregnancy. We thank her for raising such a fantastic amount.”