Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

‘We will remain forever grateful for the medical care the staff gave Oliver’

ROBERT Simpson is taking on the Berlin Marathon to say thank you for the care of his son. This challenge is the latest in his efforts to support The Children’s Hospital Charity.

At four days old Oliver from Worksop was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital from Bassetlaw Hospital after he began vomiting. This was a really scary time for his parents as, initially, it was unknown what was happening to their baby.

Oliver was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, which is a condition that affects the bowel. In most cases, the bowel is an open tube with cells along its length, which act upon impulses released from the brain to move waste through. In Oliver’s case, these weren’t present.

Initially, there was an infection in Oliver’s system so he was admitted and placed on a drip to hydrate him and get him up to weight. He stayed in the Neonatal Surgical Unit (NSU) for 20 days before being discharged and allowed to return home. Oliver still had to return to the hospital daily as he had internal bowel problems and could not poo on his own.

To rectify this Oliver needed surgery. The surgeon, Mr Murthi, identified the abnormal section in Oliver’s bowel and removed it, then tested each end, one section at a time, to check if there were functioning nerve endings present. Once he was happy the two good ends were joined back together to form a working bowel.

Dad Robert remembers finding the care at Sheffield Children’s calming during a stressful time.

He said:

“From start to finish everything was explained to us in detail and we felt included every step of the way.”

In the months after Oliver was discharged the family had a number of follow-up visits to check on his progress, and they made a point of dropping into the NSU department to see all of the nurses and staff who helped with Oliver’s recovery.

Oliver is still under the care of Sheffield Children’s and now has annual check-ups to make sure he is still doing well. He manages his bowel with medication and diet. While he suffers more than other children if he gets a cold or an upset stomach, he has done brilliantly since his operation and, for the most part, is able to live life like other eight-year-olds.

'We will remain forever grateful for the medical care the staff gave Oliver'

To say thank you for the care Oliver has received Robert is running the Berlin Marathon in September.

When he was younger Robert was quite active but, after becoming a dad, he found it harder to get out as much and put on five stone in weight. After turning 40 in August 2021 Robert committed himself to getting back into exercise and he joined a bootcamp.

Robert added:

“At bootcamp I have met some amazing people and it’s like a family. Since then my confidence has increased and I have been able to challenge myself to do new things, like mud runs and the Sheffield Half Marathon.”

The Berlin Marathon is a new challenge for Robert, with a full marathon being something of a running joke for him before. He has been in training with his friend Mark, who will be running alongside him on the day.

'We will remain forever grateful for the medical care the staff gave Oliver'

Robert said:

“It will be good to be able to bounce encouragement off each other. I have never been to Berlin or even Germany before, but it’s Oktoberfest while it is happening so it should be a good atmosphere to celebrate after we have all finished it.”

So far Robert’s longest run is 16.5 miles but, with the marathon not until September, he is confident he will get there. Robert and Mark aim to raise £1,250 each for The Children’s Hospital Charity, giving back to the hospital that provided care for Oliver.

Robert said:

“We will remain forever grateful for the medical care the staff gave Oliver in the hospital, but also the behind-the-scenes support we received helping us cope with the situation as a family.”

To support Robert’s fundraising, visit his JustGiving page.

To sign up for your own challenge, visit the Charity website here:


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