A fitness-fanatic mum is going the extra mile for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity after her son received life-saving care at the hospital where she works.

Naomi Clegg, 38, is an advanced clinical practitioner in general surgery at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) – where her young son, Ralph, was born three years ago with serious health complications. 

Ralph just after he was born

Now she’s decided to pull on her trainers for her biggest challenge yet by running two marathons in under a month to say ‘thank you’ to the obstetric and neonatal staff who saved Ralph’s life and her general surgery colleagues who go above and beyond every day for the city’s patients every day.

Naomi said: “Running has always been a huge part of my life. I met my husband, Sam, when we ran as teenagers with the Bingley Harriers and it has always given me head-space, when work and family life are full-on, as it protects my own mental health.

“I have four children whose ages range from 15 to three-years-old and Ralph, my youngest son, was born in 2019 at the BRI at 41 weeks: before being transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for urgent surgery for serious bowel issues, which had been picked up when he was still in the womb.

“The three years since have been a whirlwind of hospital operations and appointments as it’s been one thing after another. Next month he’s due to have spinal surgery at Leeds General Infirmary for a curvature in his back.”

As a thank you to Sheffield, last year Naomi ran the Manchester marathon for The Sick Children’s Trust, as they supported the family in the aftermath of Ralph’s birth.

Naomi

When the news came that Ralph would need spinal surgery this year, Naomi decided it was time to get running in earnest … so she signed herself up for the London and Leeds marathons which take place on April 23 and May 14 respectively.

She continued: “I raised loads of money at Manchester and also got a decent ‘good for age’ time which qualified me for this year’s London marathon. When I gained a place there, I thought I better not waste this opportunity, so I’ve decided to raise money for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity.

“I then decided to enter the Leeds marathon because I thought why take the easy route? Let’s make this fun so I’m running Leeds because I have been inspired by Kevin Sinfield’s marathon runs for his friend, former rugby league star, Rob Burrow.

“But it’s 18 years since I started my nurse training at the BRI and I have only ever worked at one hospital so it’s great to be able to give something back to my colleagues who are amazing, as well as the neonatal and obstetric staff who have given the most wonderful care to my son Ralph over the past three years. As a family we are eternally grateful.”

Naomi is now busy organising a football lottery at work and is considering hosting an online raffle.

She added: “In my head I would love to raise enough money for an ultrasound machine to insert cannulas for ward 5, surgical assessment unit. It would make our jobs so much easier and it would help patients get blood tests and medicine in a timely manner. It would be so good for the team morale as well as give the patient a better experience.

“People look at me when I tell them I am running two marathons in a month and then say: ‘again?’ and I say: ‘yes I am a glutton for punishment’.

“My mum and husband think I am mad but it’s a brilliant opportunity to raise some vital funds and give something back to the wonderful NHS.”

Sharon Milner, Charity Director at Bradford Hospitals’ Charity said: “This year the NHS is celebrating its’ 75th anniversary, so I’m delighted that Naomi has organised this fundraising feat for our charity as a way of saying thank you to her colleagues on our surgical assessment unit on ward 5 and the medical and nursing staff who have cared for Ralph.

“Ralph’s ongoing health battles must be hard on the family but we are pleased to hear that they are grateful for the care and support given by our medical and nursing colleagues.

“All money raised by Naomi’s awe-inspiring marathons will go towards helping create a better environment with enhanced equipment for our patients, families and NHS colleagues.”

You can sponsor Naomi by clicking here: Bradford Hospitals’ Charity: Fundraising started! (enthuse.com)

Ralph now

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