GNR19 – Why I’m Running by Kelly Fields

We asked our GNR19 runners why they kindly chose to run the gruelling 13 mile race for Tiny Lives. One runner, Kelly, told us about her inspiration.
Team Oliver (2)

Our son Oliver was born at 27+1 weeks in March of 2017, weighing a tiny but beautiful 2lb 9 and a half oz.  A spontaneous labour woke me through the night and a few hours later our boy had arrived; there he was being held up wrapped in a tiny ‘rosti’ bag for us to see before being whisked away to the Neonatal Unit to begin lifesaving treatment.

We waited for what seemed like forever to hear how Oliver was doing but ‘no news was good news’ as far as I was concerned.  We learned that Oliver was a fighter and had managed to take a few breaths on his own, but he wasn’t quite strong enough to do it for very long. We finally met Oliver a long 5 hours later, in his little incubator but doing well. Walking onto Ward 35 for the first time was honestly one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done but amazing at the same time. Oliver was being given amazing care and we quickly felt at home.

At 5 days old, Oliver had a scan of his brain which was routine for preterm babies of his gestation and unfortunately the result was something we couldn’t have ever expected. He was doing so well, already off his ventilator and doing great on cpap. But his scan showed significant brain damage and we were told to expect that Oliver would have mid to high-range Cerebral Palsy. We were devastated but encouraged by the staff to concentrate on Oliver’s immediate development and how he was doing so well in the present. One doctor told me that although Oliver’s brain had been damaged we needed to remember that his brain was just a tiny part of him and that he was still our boy. I will never forget those words.

Oliver went from strength-to-strength and was moved to Green Area on our wedding anniversary! Finally,after 73 days, on the 23rd May Oliver came home – no oxygen, no tubes, nothing. Just Oliver.

Team Oliver (3)

Now, despite a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, we have a very cheeky, walking, talking mischief maker. He is 2 years old and doing amazingly, proving us all wrong. The only sign of his cerebral palsy is that his right side is weaker than his left.

We can’t thank the team on Ward 35 enough for their care of us as well as Oliver. Our Daughter Evie was always fussed over and being just 2 year old at the time she did so well going back and forth to the hospital to see her baby brother and we credit this with how well we were looked after as a family.

Thank you Ward 35 and Tiny Lives. We will always support you in your work.

You can support Kelly and all of Team Oliver here.

Team Oliver (4)