A team of six runners took on the Brighton Marathon in memory of Teddy, a boy who died of a little-known medical condition, just hours after he was born.
Teddy’s dad Adam Howman, from Northgate, told the Crawley Observer that are raising money for two good causes, but they also hope to raise awareness of parvovirus B19, which causes ‘slapped cheek’ syndrome.
Slapped cheek symptoms are usually minor - similar to a cold - but can be serious in some cases. Teddy contracted the disease in the womb, leading to fetal hydrops - a build up of fluid around his heart and brain and in his abdomen - and severe anaemia.
They were referred to Professor Kypros Nicolaides, an expert in fetal medicine, at King’s College Hospital.
The only option was a fetal blood transfusion - an injection of blood into the place where the umbilical cord meets the placenta.
“After our third blood transfusion the professor (who pioneered the procedure he is performing) walks in scratching his head because he has never seen a baby not respond to this treatment,” Adam says in his blog, “it became increasingly difficult to remain hopeful. But we did, even after the fourth transfusion and the fifth. We always fought back those thoughts of ‘what if’s…’”
Teddy was born at 29 weeks, by emergency Caesarian section at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton on June 3 last year. Despite the best efforts of staff at the unit, he died nine hours later.
“If it wasn’t for the specialist skills and treatment we received from ‘the prof’ and his team at the Harris birthright centre at Kings hospital we wouldn’t have had any hope so we will be forever grateful that they made it possible for us to meet our son,” Adam says.
“Although our story is not one of their successes, there are hundreds of children alive today due to their pioneering work.”
They set up Teddy’s Tribe to raise money for the Fetal Medicine Foundation, which supports Professor Nicolaides’ work, and for Rockinghorse, which supports the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.
Adam ran the Brighton Marathon with two of his friends, his brother-in-law, his wife’s cousin, and one of his wife’s friends.
As of Monday, he said they had raised £3,800, and were hopeful of reaching £4,000.
You can learn more at: https://teddystribe.wordpress.com/
You can support the fundraising via: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Teddystribe
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