A bereaved dad from Birmingham has reached new heights for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity after climbing Scafell Pike – the highest mountain in England – and raising over £7,500 in memory of his baby son Adam, who spent the entirety of his short life at the hospital.

Mohammed and his wife, Sanam, were pregnant with Adam, when they were referred to the specialist Birmingham Women’s Hospital after an abnormality was spotted at their 20-week scan. Here, they were told that their baby had a rare condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which meant that the left side of his heart was not developing in the way that it should and that once born he would need multiple operations to give him the best chance of survival.  Adam arrived safely, but shortly afterwards he was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where at just three-days-old he underwent nine hours of open-heart surgery to reconstruct his heart.

When Mohammed and Sanam saw Adam after his operation, they were shocked.  Their baby boy was surrounded by tubes and wires, with his tiny chest still open and only covered by a dressing.  In the days that followed, the couple kept focused on Adam and his recovery, sitting by his side night and day, waiting for him to open his eyes. He had good days and bad days, but unfortunately his progress slowed and his condition deteriorated.  Sadly, at just five-weeks-old, his parents were told it was unlikely Adam would recover, and they had to make the heart-breaking decision to let him go. They turned off his machinery, wrapped him up in a blanket and talked and read to him while he slept. Adam passed peacefully in their arms the following morning.

Mohammed and Sanam were absolutely devastated, but Mohammed felt compelled to do what he could to say thank you to the hospital that was his son’s home during his short life. With his friends, he decided to take on the epic challenge of climbing Scafell Pike, which stands at 3,210 feet tall. His aim was to raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Cardiology Department, where Adam was cared for, to help pay for medical equipment and facilities and build the support for other families just like theirs.

Mohammed Fessal said: “Birmingham Children’s Hospital will be eternally attached to the memory of our son. The doctors and nurses went above and beyond to provide such love and care for Adam and we’re so grateful for everything they did, not only for our baby but to look after us as parents too.

“Climbing Scafell Pike was definitely challenging, especially as the weather wasn’t kind on the day. Plus, the steep incline and rough, rocky terrain in certain sections did take their toll, but with every step I remembered why I was doing it and I got to the top for Adam.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “Mohammed and Sanam’s story is truly heart-breaking, but it’s so inspiring to hear how amidst Mohammed’s grief, he was determined to do something so remarkable in Adam’s memory.

“The incredible amount of money Mohammed has raised will make such a difference in enabling us to do more for the 90,000 sick kids we treat at our hospital each year, and help to improve the experience for their families too.”