Leeds mum goes extra mile to thank baby ward

Sarah Kennedy with daughter Emily Waite. aged 8 months.
Sarah Kennedy with daughter Emily Waite. aged 8 months.
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Leeds mum Sarah Kennedy is going the extra mile to raise money for a hospital that helped save her premature baby.

The 29-year-old from Swillington will take part in a series of runs totalling 71 miles – one mile for each day that her daughter spent at the neonatal unit at St James’ Hospital in Leeds – to raise money for the cause.

Sarah’s daughter Emily Waite was born three months premature on June 9 and weighed just 2lb 13oz.

Following resuscitation at birth, Emily spent 71 days at the hospital.

Sarah, who also has a 10-year-old son called Jack, said: “Emily’s time on the unit was a complete physical and emotional rollercoaster.

“Initially dropping to 2lb 6oz, Emily had respiratory distress syndrome, suspected sepsis, wet lung, cranial bleeding and suspected retinopathy of prematurity.

“She has also been diagnosed with gastrointestinal reflux disease and chronic lung disease.

“However, after receiving what can only be described as first-class care and medicine from the professionals on the neonatal unit, Emily was discharged.

“She is gaining weight steadily and being slowly weaned off her oxygen support.

“Without the St James’ neonatal team we would, quite simply, not have Emily.

“The care and support has been a lifeline for our whole family, and the outreach service continues this vital support in the community.”

Sarah will tackle runs such as the Leeds Half Marathon and the Yorkshire Marathon and is hosting a fundraising evening on May 17, at St Mary’s Church Hall in Whitkirk, with the band Soulfingers and Zoe Walton’s School of Dance performing.

A raffle will also be held.

To sponsor Sarah, visit www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Kennedy7.

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