Twin mum takes on walking challenge for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity

Kelly Thornham News

Shipley mum Kia Farrell is walking 5k a day for 92 days to raise money for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity’s BIG Neonatal Appeal.

Kia came up with the idea after her premature twin girls spent 92 days in Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Neonatal Unit. Eden and Daisy were born at 28 weeks, five days on 29 December 2020. Each weighed just 1.1kg.

“Considering the circumstances, we could not have asked for a better experience in the Neonatal Unit,” said Kia, who is now around a month into her walking challenge, and due to finish on 14 August.

“The doctors and nurses were brilliant in the way they dealt with our babies and us. They explained everything very clearly and we always felt welcome and reassured.”

Kia admits that she hadn’t done much exercise before she started her challenge, so she hopes it will get her into shape.

“I will be walking 460km in total. I’m enjoying the challenge, walking in and around Shipley and Roberts Park. The babies are too. They don’t like to sleep, so the walking helps them sleep.”

The BIG Neonatal Appeal aims to raise money to:

  • Build an extension of five additional bedrooms. The unit currently has two bedrooms.
  • Create an outdoor garden for parents to be able to reflect in peace and quiet
  • Refurbish the communal kitchen and living facilities

Bradford’s Neonatal Unit cares for around 500 premature and sick babies every year. Approximately one baby in 10 requires admission to the unit, which takes babies from all over the Yorkshire and Humber region. Staff provide intensive care treatments to babies born as early as 23 weeks.

Kia said she was proud to be raising money which will benefit future parents whose babies are cared for on the Neonatal Unit. She said: “If I could offer any advice to other parents who are in a similar position to what we were, it would be to trust the doctors and nurses and take it a day at a time. Your babies will go home when they are ready.”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Thank you Kia for taking on such a big challenge for our BIG Neonatal Appeal.

“We do find that parents are incredibly grateful for the amazing care their babies have had in our Neonatal Unit, that they are keen to give back and help other parents who find themselves in a similar position. Every penny raised will go towards making the unit a real home-from-home for future families, so they can stay close to their babies while they are receiving first class care.”

To sponsor Kia visit https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Kia-Farrell

The BIG Neonatal Appeal is run by Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. To find out more, visit https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/big-neonatal-appeal/

If you are interested in supporting your local NHS via fundraising or volunteering, please email charity@bthft.nhs.uk or call the charity office on 01274 274809.

Kia Farrell with her twins