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Husband and wife run Potter's 'Arf to thank NICU care

Three-year-old Joseph was born prematurely at 30 weeks with under-developed lungs for his age and size.

This meant he had to spend six weeks in the care of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Royal Stoke.

Joseph is now at nursery and to thank our staff for the care given to him during the first weeks of his life, mum Kate and Dad Steven Mason-Smith ran the Potters ‘Arf Marathon for UHNM Charity raising £1,250!

Kate told us: “Joseph was under the care of Consultant Neonatologist Dr Lee Abbott. We can never thank Dr Abbott and his team enough for everything they’ve done for Joseph. All the staff were fantastic throughout and Dr Abbott was so understanding and spent a lot of time with the family in the first few hours of Joseph’s life. He wouldn’t be here without NICU.”

“He had a hard journey but come out the end of it the perfect little boy he is. Everybody was so good too with his big sister Bella whilst she was visiting. I didn’t think I’d be able to run a half marathon but we did and will be planning to do more fundraising for UHNM Charity and NICU in the future.”

Dad Steven added: “During covid running was one of the few things you were able to do safely and by yourself. I spoke to Dr Abbott whilst Joseph was still in the Unit and was planning how we were able to give something back.”

“It wasn’t until we were in the situation with Joseph that I knew there was a Neonatal Unit here or what went on there. But sitting in there you see how many babies go through and how many families you do help. I saw a different world, it opens your eyes to what goes on a daily basis.”

Dr Abbott added: “It took days and weeks to get out of situation but the brave little man got there. The money raised will go towards imporvements on the Unit, new facilities, staff training and of course improving the experience of families.


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