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Vicki's rollercoaster run for Neonatal Unit

Fundraiser Vicki Dolman is putting in her final practice runs ahead of taking on the Run Alton Half Marathon next month for UHNM Charity.

Vicki who’s from Stone is taking on the 13.1-mile course around the theme park to raise funds for our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) who cared for daughter Elsie who was born at 25 weeks weighing just 1lb 11oz.

She told us: “Our 94-day experience on NICU was terrifying. We never expected to need the Unit, and to be honest we didn’t even know it existed until I spoke to a Neonatal nurse in the late stages of labour at 25 weeks gestation.”

“The consultants, doctors and nurses were incredible. They saved Elsie’s life and they are the only reason we have our daughter today.”

“They explained all of the medical jargon and made sure we were involved in all possible aspects of Elsie’s care. Of course this was limited, but it helped so much to be able to do ‘normal’ parent things like feeding and changing nappies, even though this was through a tube!”

“I wanted to fundraise for NICU because I saw first-hand how donations helped the parents who have to stay overnight with their poorly babies away from their families. During my stay on the Unit, I learnt that thanks to UHNM Charity they were able to purchase recliner chairs that fold out in to a bed, so that these stays could be as comfortable as possible for parents. There were also cereals, hot drink facilities and snacks available to parents free of charge. This may seem insignificant to someone, but a cup of tea and some toast certainly goes a long way after watching your baby have yet another medical procedure.”

“I decided on a half marathon because as ridiculous as it sounds, it seemed unachievable. Although this has been the most traumatic year of my life, it has taught me a lot about myself that I’m grateful for, such as how much I am capable of when I need to be, and I wanted to challenge this in a physical way as well as mentally. Training has been hard, particularly trying to schedule long runs around two children, and having started with no long distance running experience at all, but I can now say I look forward to my running days and I think it’s done wonders for my mental health and well being. I’m very nervous but also so excited for the big day as I know how proud of myself I will be when I cross the finish line.”

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