Droitwich boy's treatment at Birmingham Children's Hospital inspires runner's first marathon - The Droitwich Standard

Droitwich boy's treatment at Birmingham Children's Hospital inspires runner's first marathon

Droitwich Editorial 12th Apr, 2023 Updated: 12th Apr, 2023   0

A RUNNER is taking on the Manchester Marathon this Sunday, April 16, to raise funds for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity to say thank you for the treatment given to a Droitwich boy.

Kirsty Underhill, from Stoke Prior, hopes to raise £3,000 for the cause to show her support for her friend Vicki Steele’s son, Ben.

Ben was born with CCTGA – a rare and complex form of congenital heart disease – and has undergone various procedures at BCH since birth to improve his condition.

He was taken to the hospital just hours after being born to have a temporary pacemaker fitted. Ben later developed fluid around his heart and had to have an emergency procedure to drain it.

He was fitted with a permanent pacemaker at three weeks old and his parents Vicki and James took him home two weeks later.

Ben later underwent ‘double switch’ heart surgery at 19 months old – he was in the operating theatre for 10 hours undergoing the complex and risky surgery and his heart was stopped for almost half of it.




After making a miraculous recovery following the surgery, Ben’s parents were told by doctors his recovery had been one of the quickest they had ever seen.

Kirsty said she knew as soon as she signed up for her first marathon which cause she would be running for.


“Ben is the bravest and strongest little boy and it has been a privilege to watch him defy the odds and grow into his happy and adventurous self.”

Vicki said: “Ben wouldn’t be here without their incredibly impressive attention to detail of the doctors and nurses.

“It was really difficult to get our heads around Ben’s condition but we knew that we wanted to give him the best possible chance of living a long and happy life.

“We therefore agreed for him to undergo surgery known as a ‘double switch’.

“Amazingly, the surgery was a resounding success. We have witnessed incredible levels of care, compassion and expertise from the doctors and nurses that we have met during our time in hospital and we are so grateful to each and every one of them for their unwavering commitment to the children in their care.

“We never allowed ourselves to think about the future before Ben’s surgery as we were so worried about his life expectancy.

“Now, for the first time, we feel confident that Ben is going to outlive us and we can let ourselves imagine what it will be like on Ben’s first day at school and what he’ll be like when he grows up.

“It’s the most wonderful feeling.

“We can’t thank Birmingham Children’s Hospital enough for what they’ve done and will continue to do for Ben.

“Not only have they saved Ben’s life twice but they have also saved us from forever living in limbo not knowing what the future might hold and given Ben a real chance at life.

“We hope that everyone reading this will understand what a vital lifeline the hospital is for children like Ben and what a life changing impact it makes to so many families.”

So far, Kirsty has raised over £2,300 towards her goal.

Visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kirsty-underhill-manchester-marathon to read Ben’s story in full and to donate to the cause.

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