A brave Black Country school girl, who challenged herself to complete Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s ‘10,000 Steps a Day in February’ challenge, has raised over £2,300 as thanks for the care she received at the hospital for a chronic bone infection last March. 

Amelia Ellwood faced a brave battle with Osteomyelitis, a serious bone infection, which developed after a knock to the knee at school. Amelia’s injury wasn’t immediately obvious though and doctors at her local hospital initially thought she had tendon damage. 

However, when Amelia started to become lethargic and pale and stopped eating, her mum, Laura, knew it was more serious. Following further tests, Amelia’s results showed an extremely high number of infection markers in her blood, and she was immediately transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she began treatment for sepsis. 

Doctors explained that Amelia’s tumble had caused her knee to bleed internally, but left untreated for so long, it had turned into an infection and later into deadly sepsis. Amelia immediately received antibiotic treatment and underwent surgery to clean out the internal infection.  

At the same time as her admission, Amelia and her family also endured the loss of her great grandad, Alan Smith, otherwise known as Aynuk, from the Black Country comedy duo Aynuk and Ayli.  Alan himself had been patient at the hospital as a child, on exactly the same ward that Amelia was being treated on. At this sad time in their lives, the coincidence inspired the Ellwood family to raise funds for the hospital’s charity through Alan’s funeral collection, raising over £1,500. 

During her time in hospital, Amelia looked for ways to pass the time. Thinking of other kids like her, who may be stuck in hospital for weeks, she thought purchasing some colouring books and board games for the ward would be one way to give back. But that only spurred her on to do more fundraising. 

Just a year after her ordeal and operation, Amelia decided to take on the charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge. She took it all in her stride, and counting her steps became part of her daily life.  On days when it was tough, the encouragement of family and friends really helped to keep her going. With so much support behind her, by the end of the month-long challenge, she’d raised another £800 for the charity. 

Amelia’s mum, Laura, said: “Amelia’s doing much better than she was last year, although her infection has sadly returned, but I’m so proud of her for wanting to give back. We can’t put into words how much the hospital means to us; they saved her life and are continuing to support us to this day. We will be forever grateful and we’re so glad we can fundraise as a way of saying thank you.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Amelia did such a fantastic job in our challenge, especially considering that this time last year, she was struggling to walk. Not only did she nail her steps every single day, but at one point during the month, she was fundraiser of the week. 

“The incredible amount Amelia and her family raised will go on to help provide a child-friendly environment and improve the experience of our sick kids.”