Dad takes on sportive challenges for Neonatal Unit at Heartlands

A dad is taking on a series of sportive challenges to raise funds for a Neonatal Unit which helped care for his baby boy.

Baby Charlie was born five weeks early at Heartlands Hospital through an emergency C-section and was taken straight to the Neonatal Unit to help him breathe. This meant his mom was unable to see him for two days.

Charlie’s mom had placenta previa meaning her placenta was low in the uterus and partially or fully covers the cervix, later on in pregnancy this can be harmful to both the mother and baby.

Now Charlie’s dad, Joe wants to give back to the unit that helped care for his son and has already raised £750 by taking part in the Great Midlands Fun Run. Joe is also planning on taking part in the Mad Summer Hare ride and a 85-mile sportive.

Talking about his sons care, Joe said: “We were in Heartlands for weeks. The team were amazing, my wife was unable to see Charlie for two days which was heart-breaking but the nurses and midwife taught me how to look after him and kept me calm.

“They are the reasons I’m running to help others! If it wasn’t for the fantastic staff at Heartlands he might not be with us. I wanted to say thank you and give other babies the chance Charlie got.”

Joe is raising money for the Incubator appeal at Heartlands Hospital which will bring seven brand new state-of-the-art incubators to the Neonatal Unit and will help provide the very best care for the smallest patients at the hospital.

The incubators will allow much easier access to the baby for the nurses and mothers, without causing any heat loss. They will also be able to cool the baby, as some premature babies need specialist therapeutic hypothermia to reduce the likelihood of brain injury. Currently, babies who need this treatment have to be transferred to another hospital.

Sian Averill, Fundraising Manager at Heartlands Hospital Charity, said: “We are so pleased to hear how well Charlie is doing now and are so glad that the Neonatal Unit cared for you all so well.

“A huge thank you goes to Joe for running the Great Midlands Fun Run and raising so much money for the Incubator appeal at Heartlands Hospital, and also for taking part in the other events to raise even more money! Good luck! We can’t wait to hear how they go.”

To support Joe with his fundraising challenges, you can donate to his JustGiving page at

You can find out more about the Incubator appeal and what the new machines will mean to the Unit by visiting: